GRA Board In Limbo Because Of One Person

Ken Ofori-Atta

The state revenue outfit, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), a pivot around which the country’s economy evolves, does not have a governing body, as at now, just because of personality interests.

The GRA board is yet to be inaugurated because the Ministry of Finance representative is being questioned by the Council of State, over his qualification to be on that board.

This is happening because, although to represent the Ministry of Finance on the GRA Board, a person must be of a Director’s rank or above, the one being imposed by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta is not a Director but rather the minister’s Technical Advisor.

Mr. Ernest Akore, the person nominated by the minister to represent the Finance Ministry on the GRA Board, when his name was submitted to the Council of State, he was asked to bring a letter or otherwise prove his qualification to serve on the board.

In view of the current situation, there are lots of breaches at GRA because there is no board to streamline affairs.

Per Section 4 of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791), the Governing body of the Authority consists of;

(a) A Chairperson.

(b) The Commissioner-General of the Authority,

(c) A representative of the Ministry not below the rank of a Director,

(d) A representative of the Ministry of Trade and Industry not below the rank of a Director,

(e) The Governor of the Bank of Ghana or a representative of the Governor not below the rank of a Deputy-Governor, and

(f) Four other persons from the private sector two of whom are women…

(2) The President shall appoint the Chairperson and members of the Board in accordance with Article 70 of the Constitution.

What it means is that Mr. Ofori-Atta’s Technical Advisor does not fit in to serve on the GRA Board.

The immediate past GRA board, it was disclosed, was not up to the required number, but operated; as two members who were forced to resign from the board were not revealed until that board was dissolved by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The whole idea of the board not being sworn-in was to ensure that the minister’s nominee is smuggled onto the board, something the Council of State has vowed to resist.

Mr. Ofori-Atta himself had admitted before a Parliamentary Appointments Committee during his vetting, that it was illegal for anyone below the level of a Director to represent the Finance Ministry on the GRA Board and, promised to do the needful.

Mr. Ofori-Atta, however, has gone against the very promise he made during the vetting, as he is moving to make sure that his buddy, Mr. Akore serves on the state revenue outfit board again.

It was in the initial attempt that Mr. Akore, who served on the immediate-past GRA Board, has been asked to provide evidence that he is indeed at the level of a Director.

Directors at various state institutions are always interviewed by the Public Services Commission (PSC).

Mr. Kwaku Agyemang Kwarteng, who was Deputy Finance Minister, was representing the Finance Ministry on the GRA, until he was removed in 2019 and replaced with Mr. Akore.

The Trade and Industry Ministry representative on the board at the time, Mr. Carlos Ahenkorah, was also replaced with a Director from that ministry.

The Inquisitor is reliably informed that the naming of the GRA membership has become a headache, as the Minister of Finance would want to have his way as against that of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In the past, some two members of the old board were forced to resign by some powerful forces within the corridors of power. The third targeted member, however, refused to bow to pressure at the time.