The Minority in Ghana’s Parliament has accused Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia of peddling falsehood when he made claims that revenue collection at the ports shot up as a result of the introduction of the paperless port system.
Dr. Bawumia claimed that an initial assessment of the implementation of the paperless system at the country’s ports, helped in revenue collection improvement of 56 percent.
According to him, revenue at the ports increased from GHc130 million in the first week of September 2016, to GHc213 million in the same period for 2017.
Speaking at the launch of the onboarding programme for National Service Personnel into the National Communications Authority, Dr. Bawumia stated that, “On September 1, we launched the paperless [system], but of course not without attempts to actually derail the process, because it’s hurting a lot of people who were making free money and people who used to take two weeks to clear a container after one day of delay were protesting. Are you protesting the system or something else?”
“The results are amazing. We just looked at data this morning – first week of collections under the paperless system in September this year compared to last year first week of collections in September 2016, and collections have gone up by 56 percent; 56 percent from around GHc130 million to GHc213 million in one week,” he added.
But the Minority at a press conference said: “We are told by the vice president of the republic on the September 12 that Customs revenue at the ports had increased by 56 percent after the implementation of the paperless system. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, the claim has proven to be untrue.”
He explained that as at September 30 customs revenue was projected to be over GHS1.92billon but the actual outturn was GHS1.179billion representing a deviation of GHS12.8million an equivalent of 1.1percent.
“So how can this be an increase of 56 percent?” he asked, saying “unfortunately, another untruth.”
The address which was delivered by Ato Forson, spokesperson on Finance for the Minority said spoke of the “huge gap” that had emerged between projected tax revenue and on what had actually been the collected revealing that a shortfall of about GHS3billion in revenue was recorded in the third quarter of this year.
He added: “We expect the government to learn from this practice of over projection of taxes and tax revenue because of their desire to fund campaign promises,” Mr. Ato Forson who is also the MP for Ajumako -Enyan- Essiam noted. “This poor performance which is self-inflicted should, however, not become a pretext for government to impose additional nuisance taxes that will further burden Ghanaians especially the poor.’’