The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has refuted claims leveled against its officials by businessman and Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.
According to GRA, the lawmaker’s allegations that it is harassing his businesses are untrue.
In a statement, the Ghana Revenue Authority explained that Mr. Agyapong’s account that its officials attempted to set a desk at his company to monitor his sales was in accordance with World Customs Organization guidelines, ensuring adherence to best practices.
“GRA wishes to categorically refute the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by the MP. We wish to clarify that as part of GRA’s mandate and in line with World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) guidelines in ensuring adherence to best practices; such exercises are regularly conducted,” excerpt of the statement read.
“The purpose of such audits is to measure and improve compliance while fine-tuning controls. The factory in question together with other companies were thus audited to check the value of goods imported and their intended use. We wish to disclose that in January and February 2023, about thirty (30) of such risk-based activities were carried out on a number of businesses,” the statement added.
In a recent outburst, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who is aspiring to lead the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2024 elections alleged that his businesses are under attack as a result of his decision to run for president.
According to Mr. Agyapong, state institutions are frustrating and intimidating him in his quest to lead the NPP in the 2024 NPP elections.
The Assin Central MP noted that the treatment meted out to him is his worst experience in the Fourth Republic.
“Let me state it clearly, they cannot use the system to intimidate me. It won’t work. It is so sad for me to make this statement. I operated businesses during all the regimes in the Fourth Republic, but I never went through any of this harassment and intimidation unlike under this Akufo-Addo government that I have been MP for six consecutive terms.” Mr. Agyapong noted.
Below is GRA’s full statement
ALLEGED HARASSMENT OF HON. KENNEDY AGYAPONGBY GRA
Management of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has sighted a recording of a media interview by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central constituency, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong circulating on social media in which he accused GRA Officials of constant harassment through unwarranted audits of his companies.
GRA wishes to categorically refute the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by the MP. We wish to clarify that as part of GRA’s mandate and in line with World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) guidelines in ensuring adherence to best practices; such exercises are regularly conducted. The purpose of such audits, are to measure and improve compliance whiles fine tuning controls. The factory in question together with other companies were thus audited to check the value of goods imported and their intended use.
We wish to disclose that in January and February 2023, about thirty (30) of such risk-based activities were carried out on a number of businesses. Furthermore, in the area of enforcement and compliance, GRA carries out invoice invigilation exercises to ascertain Value Added Tax (VAT) paid by VAT registered businesses. These exercises entail stationing staff on the premises of VAT registered businesses such as shops, restaurants and manufacturing sites to check the issuance of VAT invoices.
In September 2022, invigilation exercises were intensified nationwide in order to enforce the issuance of VAT invoices and to encourage persons who buy goods and patronize services to demand for VAT invoices. This exercise was very successful and GRA intends to scale up the invoice invigilation exercise from April 2023 as part of its revenue mobilization efforts.
In carrying out all these enforcement and compliance activities, staff of GRA have been advised to remain professional and act at all times with integrity as required by the Authority’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
We therefore encourage any member of the public who has evidence of any alleged corrupt practice by an official of the Authority to report such criminal acts to the Management of GRA on 0800-900-110 for redress.
Management wishes to use this opportunity to assure Honourable Kennedy Agyapong and all taxpayers of our readiness to receive complaints and feedback on our work as we partner to mobilise revenue for national development. We also wish to state that GRA remains committed to carrying out its mandate of revenue mobilization with integrity, fairness, and utmost professionalism.
FLORENCE ASANTE (MRS)
COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT