Tension is mounting among senior Customs officers following what they describe as lopsidedness in the transfer regime at the revenue agency.
According to inside sources, senior officers are seething with anger over favoritism in the transfer of officers, with a warning that if management of the Ghana Revenue Agency (GRA) continues to ignore their concerns, government efforts at raking in more revenue may be derailed.
The Customs Division of the GRA appears to be at the receiving end of all the agencies under GRA, as officers are reportedly transferred without the input of their superior officers.
Fuming with rage, customs officers are blaming the GRA for their present predicament where officers who had juicy duty posts under the previous political administration are mostly maintained while those who suffered victimization continue to suffer even in the new administration, because they claim they don’t have money to oil the system.
They particularly singled out the Commissioner in-charge of Support Services at GRA, Fred Ansong, who they claim unilaterally does the transfers without recourse to his colleague Customs Commissioner – a development they assert is against the rules.
When reached on phone yesterday, Mr Ansong dismissed the allegation of ‘cash for transfer’ saying the current management of GRA is above board.
“The new management is incorruptible,” he claimed, while directing further questions on transfers to Kofi Nti, GRA Commissioner General.
The officers suspect that recent transfers were laden with underhand dealings, citing a transfer of an officer who had overstayed at the Kotoka International Airport and posted to Wa in the Upper West Region only to return to the airport a few days later simply because he has a ‘deep pocket.’
The said officer, who was described as untouchable in the previous administration, is considered one of the richest customs officers, having chains of hotels and other business concerns.
Some ladies, who were sent to the Volta Region also returned to Accra while others have been on one duty post for over 16 years, especially in the deprived areas with no one pleading on their behalf.
According to the officers, before the new administration assumed office, transfers and promotions were posted on notice boards.
“Now it is a secret operation abandoning all known rules in the service,” an aggrieved officer posited.
The customs officers are also not happy with the spate of interdiction in the service – where over 200 officers had been sent home over alleged corrupt deals involving a certain importer with strong political connections to the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
The said importer and hotelier is said to have caused the nation to lose over GH¢1.2 billion in revenue through under-declaration and he is currently facing BNI investigation.
The peeved officers claim that laid-down rules were not followed in sending their colleagues home.
While conceding that some of the officers deserve the exit because of the way they compromised themselves, others were just victims of circumstances because they only acted on instructions from their superiors while the said superiors are still at post.
They said the process was against their collective bargaining agreement and that that had caused morale to be dampened.