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General News of Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Source: GNA

GRA holds memorial service in honour of late President Mills

Management of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday held a memorial service in remembrance of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

Reverend Oduro Yeboah, President of GRA Senior Staff Association, speaking on the theme “Shadow of Death”, said death was inevitable in man’s life and it behooves on all to prepare to meet it.

He said “never give up when in trouble for the Lord is with us and there is hope even in the shadow of death”.

Rev. Yeboah said the death of late President Mills must unite the country because he believed in the principle of peace, unity and harmony and urged all Ghanaians to take heart since it was God who gave and had taken at his own time.

Mr. George Blankson, Commissioner-General of GRA, said the late President Mills worked with the then Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for eight years as Board Chairman in 1988 and appointed the Acting Commissioner of the Service until September 1996 when he was confirmed as Commissioner.

He said “as a Commissioner, late President Mills championed various reforms in tax administration and ensured that the institution was moved from the civil service to operate as a semi-autonomous self–accounting revenue agency”.

Mr. Blankson said the late President Mills performed creditably during his tenure with a remarkable reduction in tax rates and measures were taken to broaden the tax base in the country.

He said the late President Mills was an ardent advocate for recreation and active sportsman, and formed a hockey club, ‘Tax Rakers’ and the service netball team, ‘Revenue Maidens’ which encouraged all staff to be active and physically fit.

Mr. Blankson said the late President Mills was relentless in the pursuit of excellence for national development as he continued to pay surprise visits to the erstwhile IRS and other revenue service and urged staff to be serious in their duty of mobilising revenue for national development.

Mrs Jemima Mercer Aboagye, Acting Assistant Commissioner in-charge of Planning, GRA, described the late President Mills as an astute personality who was gentle and peaceful and loved education.

She said the late President Mills made it a policy that all non-operations senior staff were to attend the Basic Professional Course in Taxation which had enabled staff members to perform better as tax administrators.

“You were a living legend, studied your legal principles and case studies in law. I could not feel more privileged to have been supervised and mentored by you,” she added.**