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Ministerís Speech Goes Missing   
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Drama unfolded last week Thursday when the Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr. Samuel Sarpong mounted the rostrum at a retreat programme of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to address the gathering, only to find out that the prepared speech before him was not meant for the occasion.

The minister looked worried as he realized that the speech before him was completely different. He swiftly signaled his Public Relation Officer (PRO), Mr. Clement Kegeri, who made telephone calls to the Minister’s office for copies of the prepared speech to be made available for the occasion.

The master of ceremonies,  Mr. Robert Mensah, quickly invited the General Commissioner of GRA, Mr. George Blankson to address the gathering.

Mr. Blankson disclosed that the revenue target for 2015 is GH21.98 billion which was detailed as GH8.95 billion for Domestic Direct Tax, GH5.10 billion representing Domestic indirect Tax while 7.92 billion stood for Customs.

According to Mr. Blankson, even though the year is very young, there appears to be every indication that 2015 holds brighter prospects for GRA in terms of revenue collection.

Touching on revamping of human resources in GRA, he stated that the recruitment drive initiated last year to revamp GRA’s human resource will be continued this year, adding the Service intends to address the shortage of manpower in some critical areas of GRA’s operations which will positively impact on their 2015 revenue collection.

He disclosed that, the GRA revenue collection in 2014 was 2.7% far away from their target following the precipitous fall in the price of minerals on the world market, especially for gold, leading to redundancy of workers, which negatively affected operations.

Mr. George Blankson noted that the Total Revenue Integrated processing System (TRIPS) has been rolled out in 12 offices in the Greater Accra region, which will be extended to other Regions this year.

A relieved Dr. Sarpong later took his turn to address the meeting, when the prepared speech was made available. He had nothing much to say except that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is one of the sensitive organizations of Government, whose contributions to national development is undoubted.

According to him, the GRA like other revenue generating organizations in the country provides the much needed requires to execute its developmental projects.

Source: The Chronicle

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