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Politics of Sunday, 5 July 2020

Source: Albert Kuzor, Contributor

Execute responsibilities devoid of partisan politics - CEPS Officers told

The Commissioner of the Customs Exercise and Preventive Services (CEPS) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Col. Kwadzwo Damoah (Rtd), has asked CEPS officers to undertake their mandates devoid of partisan politics since their services do not align with politics.

According to him, as security and revenue collectors, they must remain loyal to the nation-building, work, and ensure a safe environment to encourage peaceful coexistence with neighbouring countries, to harness normal economic and social life.

Addressing the media after he met with both Junior and Senior staff during his working visit to Aflao Sector on Thursday, 3 July 2020, Mr. Kwadwo said, although they (officers) belong to political parties and will practice their rights by voting for one political party and the other, their political colours shouldn't reflect in their line of duties, especially during this season of political campaigns and activities.

" Why I'm appealing to the officers is that, yes, we admit that come December 7, all of us we are going to vote and actually we are likely to vote for parties of our choices and that is democracy nobody can prevent anybody from voting but that is distinct from our official duties. Officially, we are supposed to perform a certain mandate and that is why I'm appealing to them that, they should focus on that official mandate, remain loyal to the state and should not in any way allow political differences to affect the way we go our duties," He said.

Speaking on revenue generation, the Commissioner said, the novel COVID-19 has affected revenue generation since February 2020, He revealed that, " Naturally, the volume coming which already was reducing is going to reduce further, so we have done some analysis and it's shown in a direction that, our revenue is going down. In the case of Customs, in January, we recorded more than 1 billion and in February we fell below 1 billion and in March it fell further than 1 billion and in April when the real effect of the COVID is in, it still went further than before, so on that angle, we are able to say that COVID-19 is indeed hitting us hard in terms of revenue because of the volumes of imports that are coming now," He told the media.

He, however, charged the personnel to work harder to get more revenue for the country and so they will be able to pay salaries and among other important expenditures without financial difficulties, " if you (the officers) increase the revenue, then all things being equal, your chances of being able to have some left after your payment of salaries and allowances will be higher and therefore we will be able to provide other essential by way of logistics and operations" he advised.

On rewards, the Commissioner applauded the Aflao sector for the recent intercepted 42 kilograms of substances suspected to be cocaine, heroin and tramadol on Friday 5, June 2020.

Although there has been an allegation of some amount of the items been missing, Mr. Kwadwo said there is a need for him to reward officers involved in arresting the substances, adding that investigation has been launched into the missing substances.

"We thought that we should commend them for what they had achieved while not glossing over this one, efforts have been made to try to find the whereabouts of this things " He mentioned.

The Commissioner with his entourage visited the various pillars, checkpoints and entry points on the Lome, Aflao border. He therefore advised the personnel to adhere to the various COVID-19 protocols and help educate the citizenry on the pandemic.

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