The Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs division has officially opened their Savannah regional office at Damongo in the Savannah regional capital.
In an event to officially open the regional office on Friday, 22nd July, 2022, the sector Commander for Damongo collection, Assistant commissioner Labujata Hamidu explained that, the opening of the Damongo office became necessary following the creation of the Savannah region prompting the Board of Directors and top Management of the GRA to initiate processes to set up the Damongo Collection.
The Assistant commissioner added that, though in a temporally rented apartment, their offices are well furnished and equipped with almost all that is required to commence business in the region, explaining that, their Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) are also fully set up and has already started processing declarations with the hope that, the Damongo Collection will also contribute it’s quota to meet this year’s Revenue target of GH₵80.2 billion.
The sector commander further explained that,
the Ghana Revenue Authority was established as a merger of the three (3) Revenue agencies, i.e. Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the internal Revenue Service (IRS), the value Added Tax Service (VAT) and the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB) with the core mandate to ensure maximum compliance with all relevant tax laws in order to ensure sustainable revenue streams for government, trade facilitation and a controlled safe flow of goods across the country’s borders.
The Damongo Collection according to the sector commander, is a Preventive Collection mandated with the functions to maintain security presence at all entry and exit points of the country;
*Plan and execute physical patrols/ambushes
*snap checks of all parts of the country including unapproved routes and territorial waters of the country
*Pre-empt, detect, and prevent all offences of the Customs laws as well as statutes of other relevant bodies
*Provide adequate protection for relevant personnel and properties of the Authority
*Gather intelligence about operations and strategies of probable smugglers and other threats whilst employing effective strategies to counter them
*Guard against revenue leakages by jointly or independently conducting examination and/or re-examination of goods for both tax and non-tax purposes with the immigration officers
*Arrest, detain and arraign for the prosecution of offenders of the Customs laws
*Physical safeguarding of all goods admitted under the Suspense regimes at their respective points of entry
*points of holding and points of exit, Search and examine persons, luggage and premises to uncover contraband goods and wanted persons
*Boarding and rummaging of aircraft, vessels, vehicles, and other means of conveyances upon suspicion
*Provide for the escort and transportation of subjects of interest (goods and persons) to avoid diversion and / or escape
*Conduct internal security operations such as counter terrorism operations, election security supervision, among others Jointly with the relevant security agencies like police, NIB, Counter Terrorist Unit, Military, etc
The Damongo collection which started with the sector Commander working with 12 officers from Bole now has 33 officers with the following stations; Damongo Main office, Bole Station, Bole Patrol Base/Check Point
Chache Out Post and Kalba Out Post.
The Damongo main office has temporarily been secured to serve as their main office and accommodation on one storey where the ground floor is used for office purposes and the upper floor, accommodation for the Sector Commander, Second-In-Command and the Sector Accountant.
The Savannah Regional Minister, Hon Muhazu Jibril in a brief address said, the creation of the savannah region has brought a lot of opportunities to the people of the region, one of which is the opening of the GRA office in the regional capital.
He commended the officers of the Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs Division and all the security services in the region for their good works towards the uplifting of the region in terms development, adding that it is hope that in the near two or few years, the GRA would have moved to it’s own headquarters of which plans are underway to construct.
Saeed Jibril applauded the sector Commander for the Damongo collection and her officers for meeting their revenue mobilization target for the year and still working to exceed that, though with very little check/ collection points .
SaeedJibril assured the GRA of their support as a regional coordinating council to ensure that all the challenges enumerated before them are overcomed one after the other.
The occasion was graced by the Assistant commissioner for Tamale collection of the GRA, heads of security services in the savannah region, heads of Departments, Religious and Traditional leaders etc.