February 4, 2019
Import revenue up by 3.9% …as paperless port boosts corruption ranking score
Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) data show that import revenue increased by 3.9 percent at the end of the 2018 calendar year.
The total import revenue increased from about GH¢12.7billion in 2017 to GH¢13,191.79million as at the end of 2018.
The growth in revenue realised from imports over the period can largely be attributed to implementation of the Paperless Port System at the country’s sea ports by government.
The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade, GRA-Customs Division, WestBlue Consulting and GCNET, among other stakeholders, have been commended for their various roles played in increasing government’s revenue at the port and blocking revenue leakages.
The Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) in a resolution signed by its General Secretary, Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, commended government for implementation of the Paperless Port regime while calling for support for its members: “The Council commends government for introducing the paperless port system, which has helped in reducing the time and cost of clearing goods at the ports”.
Government has rolled out numerous interventions in recent months, as part of efforts to maximise socio-economic gains of the maritime sector.
Among them is included a reduction in the number of inspection agencies at the port; the paperless clearance of goods; as well as the scrapping of barriers along trade corridors.
Port inspection agencies have been reduced from 16 to 3 (GRA-Customs Division, GSA, FDA) to reduce clearing time and ensure efficient revenue collection, resulting in a 24 percent increase of government collections.
Corruption Perception Index (CPI) – 2018
The 2018 CPI scores Ghana 41 out of a possible clean score of 100, and ranks the country 78 out of 180 countries/territories included in this year’s index; an improvement over the 2017 score of 40.
The 2018 CPI used nine (9) out of the thirteen (13) data sources of independent institutions with a high level of credibility to compute the score for Ghana.
Transparency International (TI) noted that: “Several factors, including policies and initiatives by government and state institutions implemented during the period under consideration, could have accounted for this improvement.
“The enhanced performance of the Audit Service and Auditor-General in discharging their constitutional mandate and ensuring protection of the public purse could have made some impact on the 2018 CPI score.
“The paperless port clearing system under the Digital Inclusive Agenda and establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor all played a part in the country’s improved ranking.”