The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has expressed worry about the removal of Colonel (rtd) Kwadwo Damoah as Commissioner of Customs at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Describing the removal of the Customs’ Boss as “a big loss to the State,” the Association said Col Damoah’s revenue mobilisation efforts could not be replaced.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Sampson Asaki Awingobit, President of the Importers and Exporters Association, said the circumstances leading to the removal of Col Damoah could also demoralise “hard working” Customs Officers.
“The standards that Col. Damoah set at GRA in terms of revenue mobilisation, I do not know who will be able to fit into that seat or be able to rally the men and women behind him to be able to meet revenue targets,” Mr Awingobit said.
A letter dated August 26, from the Office of the President, and addressed to Col Damoah, asked the latter to hand over his duties and office to the acting Deputy Commissioner (Preventive), Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah, effective Friday, August 26, 2022.
The letter, signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said the move followed the expiry of Col Damoah’s contract as Customs Boss on October 13, 2021.
The letter said Mr Iddrisu Iddisah would act as the Commissioner of Customs Division pending the President’s substantive appointment.
Mr Awingobit said the next Customs Boss “has a lot of work to do to repair the image of Customs.”
He urged the next Commissioner to work with Customs’ standards operating procedures and encourage staff to work harder to achieve revenue targets.
“The person has to be a leader to be able to bring morale back to the Authority,” he said.
The Customs Division of the GRA had been captured in two investigations by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
One of the cases involved the issuance of what the OSP described as “unlawful” customs advanced rulings in favour of Labianca Company Limited, a frozen food company.
The OSP is also investigating the auction sale of vehicles and other goods by the GRA from July 1, 2016 to August 15, 2022.