The Ghana Revenue Authority has refuted claims that since introduction of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), the state has lost revenue. Rather, the authority has had its revenue projections on target even with the teething problems that greeted the start of the system on June 1, 2020.
Commissioner General of the GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, observed that the first 17 days of operations raked in some GH¢490million; and the Authority is projecting a billion Ghana cedis revenue by end of the month.
The Commissioner General, addressing the media last week, was specific that the authority will not be losing revenue as is being highlighted by some sections of society. GRA, he indicated, is putting in all efforts to address all the challenges that are being recorded to ensure efficiency of the system.
All said and done, it is heartening that the GRA has set up a call-centre to receive and address all challenges faced by stakeholders. Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah said most of the initial problems are being fixed to allow for seamless operations.
The assurance should douse the doubts that importers/exporters and freight forwarders have expressed over time. Assurances coming from the horse’s own mouth should send the right signals that ICUMS is not hindering operations at the country’s ports, but is rather enhancing efficiency and raking in revenue for the state.
Owusu-Amoah also stated that ICUMS has successfully processed about 53,000 Bills of Entry nationwide.
On demurrage charges, the Acting Commissioner-General said the GRA and Ministry of Trade are engaging relevant stakeholders to see what can be done for cases related to initial challenges in the system.
A prominent financial analyst, the CEO of Dalex Finance Mr. Ken Thompson, believes the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) is a good system because it enhances e-governance. He however stated that the way it is being implemented is what’s causing the challenges for stakeholders.
The issue with locked-up pharmaceutical products meant to deal with COVID-19 at the ports because of ICUMS has to be resolved, so that the drugs do not expire and incur extra cost to the state. It is also timely that the GRA Commissioner General has cleared the air about the operations of ICUMS, and this should assuage a lot of fears.