The new trade facilitation tool – the Integrated Customs Management System ICUMS deployed by the government at the ports and frontiers – is said to have generated some GH¢1,929,481,409.5billion as of July 11, 2020, for government since its inception.
Data available to the B&FT from the Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division confirmed the Board Chairman of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei, publicly announced that the system had generated total revenue of some GH¢1.2billion in June alone.
It is instructive to note that the Commissioner-General of the GRA, during his press conference last month, pointed out that prior to full switch-over to the new platform, ICUMS, its predecessor – the National Single Window System operated by GcNet in partnership with West Blue Consulting – was generating a monthly average amount of GH¢940million.
ICUMS fetching increased revenues
Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei, in his first public comment about the ICUMS spoke highly of the not-so-long-ago-deployed port management system.
Prof. Adei was speaking in a monitored interview on Accra-based Radio Station Joy FM, and described ICUMS as a much better system than the previous one manned by the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GcNET).
His assertion, according to him, is based on the revenue generated by ICUMS despite reduced imports at Ghana’s land and seaports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are getting better results – because in May and June alone, even under COVID-19, there was far more collection of revenue than previously collected under the old system,” he said.
“On average, the revenue collected is about GH¢800million, but just last month we had about GH¢1.2billion – and this is even under reduced imports due to the pandemic. And I’m happy to say that despite COVID-19, our end-of-May revenue was only 8.6 percent below the target,” he added.
Speaking further, he asserted that the jump in revenue collection due to effectiveness of the ICUMS shows that the country was losing a lot of revenue in the old system; and that resistance mounted against the introduction of ICUMS was due to the fact that ‘some people’ were afraid of getting ‘exposed’.
Challenges with ICUMS
Prof. Adei admitted to some challenges faced by the new system but noted that they are being resolved and the outcomes are promising.
“We have challenges, but they are being resolved and the results so far are promising; we are doing our best for God and country,” he stated.
Data available to this Paper also show the performance of the ICUMS in June at some borders to be very impressive.
Import duty revenues from the Kotoka International Airport KIA for June stood at GH¢55.4million, which was up 20 percent over the GH¢46million generated in June 2019 when trade activities were not curtailed by travel and trade restrictions.
Also, the data further suggest that revenues are rising sharply by the month. For instance, revenue from the Aflao land border for June was GH¢4,718,083, -up from just GH¢791,184 recorded in March when ICUMS was rolled-out at the Land borders. Again, revenue generated in June 2020 from Elubo was GH¢¢4,038,105 – up from GH¢637,468 in March 2020.
In Accra at the Jamestown Customs office in March 2020, some GH¢9,523,556 was raised in June this year.