The Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) has accused the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu – Amoah, of being responsible for the high prices of goods in the market.
The group claims that the commissioner and his officers are harassing, intimidating, and extorting money from the traders, especially the importers.
“If you go to the market and things are expensive, it is not the trader’s fault, it is the custom commissioner’s fault. The one who is working extra time to make sure things are difficult for us and is not minding anyone. It is the customs commissioner Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, who has made it a point to make the customs and the DTRD to intimidate, harass and extort money from the traders. That is why things are expensive,” president of TAGG, David Kwadwo Amoateng said during an interview on Neat FM.
Mr Amoateng claimed that although “We are sitting on money, … we are hungry” because of some leaders who he alleged are sleeping on the job.
“There is money in this country but because of some leaders who are asleep at their job and the government that appointed them does not see that they have to change them and sack them, is why we are in this situation. We can’t talk about them otherwise they will not call us for meetings,” he added.
According to him, traders believe that age GRA commissioner and his officers are making it difficult for the traders to import goods or sell them on the market.
He said that they are constantly monitoring them at their shops in the market and interfering with their transactions and labeled he practice as archaic and unacceptable.
“We have a big problem with the GRA officers who are constantly monitoring us at our shops in the market. If premix fuel can be digitalised then regulating our tax obligations and fulfilments can be regulated. Monitoring our every move is archaic,” he lamented.
He cited an example of how a trader lost his customers from Burkina Faso who came to make a purchase when GRA officials walked in during the purchase and as such the people left the premises. He said that this is affecting the business of the traders and the economy of the country.
TAGG has reported these concerns to the president and expressed confidence in his willingness to take corrective action.
Amoateng emphasized that individuals who believe themselves untouchable should be held accountable and that there are capable, dedicated professionals within the customs office who have worked tirelessly for the nation’s benefit.
Furthermore, Amoateng issued a stern warning that by the end of September, any shop where GRA officials are found stationed will be closed, and the officers responsible will be dismissed. He underscored that such outdated practices must cease, or all traders tolerating such behavior will face shop closures, resulting in three months of financial hardship.
Amoateng appealed to the government to modernize the tax system and streamline tax obligations without unnecessary micromanagement. He pointed out that if premix fuel can be managed digitally, then tax regulation can also be similarly modernized.