President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to deliver on their mandate with diligence to bring the country the much-needed revenue for development.
He said his government’s vision of a building a progressive and prosperous country depends significantly on the work of the GRA.
“The time has come for us not to ‘chop’ Ghana small, but to make Ghana great. If that is where all of us are, we are going to build a Ghana that is going to be the wonder of this world. The world will then see that there are Africans capable of doing it,” he said.
The President made the comments on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, when he visited the Tema Harbour to interact with officials of the GRA.
He said the GRA was a central part of whether or not we are going to succeed as a nation.
“When we speak about wanting to build a Ghana beyond aid, what we are saying is that we should become, like all the progressive countries in the world, a country that depends on its own resources to buttress its own development, and not a country going around cap in hand begging for this or that,” he said.
He wants Ghana to become a country of dignity and pride that is able to finance its own development.
“And, if we are going to be able to do that, you are at the cutting edge. If you succeed, Ghana succeeds. If you fail, we will fail,” he admonished.
“If you are able to meet our revenue targets, it will then mean that we would be able to finance the expenditures we would need in our social sectors, for our education, for our housing, for our health, amongst others,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, thus urged the GRA to be “sincere, active collaborators, co-operating to build the Ghana of our dreams. My part is to try to help define and design the policy. But you are the people responsible for executing it. If the execution is solid, Ghana is solid.”
These comments by the President comes on the back of the central bank’s revelation that government’s inability to meet its projected revenue performance pose a considerable danger to fiscal consolidation efforts.
“The continued revenue under performance could pose some challenges to the fiscal outlook. Revenue performance has been undermined by low import levels, slower pace of implementing specific tax measures, the revision to tax assessments, and a sluggish non-oil real sector,” the BoG said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), with which Ghana has an ongoing $918 million Extended Credit Facility, has not been enthused about the situation, describing as insufficient government’s efforts at boosting revenue collection.
With concerns of Ghana missing out on its 6.3 percent GDP for this year, the IMF has joined the chorus of analysts calling on the government to strengthen its revenue administration as well as implement measures to broaden the tax base by streamlining its policies on tax expenditures, incentives, exemptions and holidays.