There are reports that major changes have taken effect in the top hierarchy of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
According to sources in government, the changes have seen the GRA Commissioner General, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, and two of his deputies cleared from office.
The two deputies are Kwasi Asante-Gyimah, Commissioner in charge of the domestic tax revenue division, and Isaac Crentsil, Commissioner in charge of the customs division.
Sources have further revealed that there was no wrongdoing in connection with the removal of Mr Nti from his position as Commisioner General.
“In fact, his biggest negative is even a plus, which is that he is nice man ‒ though taxmen are not supposed to be nice,” our source said.
However, the government feels the commissioners have not been able to tackle leakages as ruthlessly as they should.
Mr Nti took over leadership of the GRA from George Blankson in February 2017.
He is a banker, economist, statistician, accountant and tax expert with experience spanning more than 30 years.
He holds a combined Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and statistics from the University of Ghana and a combined Master’s degree in economic and financial forecasting from London Metropolitan University.
He is a fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Ghana, a fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, United Kingdom, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana.
He began his career as an economist with the Bank of Ghana, where he worked in the development finance, rural banking, banking supervision and Treasury departments.
Mr Nti left the central bank as head of the Treasury Information Statistics Office in the Treasury department, where his work involved collaborating extensively with the research department, reporting on foreign currency-denominated receipts and payments through the central bank, the open position of banks, and the Bank of Ghana’s cash flow.
He was the first secretary of the foreign exchange reserve management committee that managed the central bank’s investments and reserves.
President Akufo-Addo elevated Isaac Crentsil from deputy commissioner to commissioner of the GRA’s customs division.
Before this appointment, he was the deputy commissioner of customs in charge of post-clearance audit. The 54-year-old has spent half of his life at the GRA, having been in the service for the past 27.
Among other qualifications, Mr Crentsil holds an executive Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Ghana Business School.
He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana and also a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (Ghana). He holds a post-chartered diploma certificate in forensic auditing from the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Mr Crentsil has led various departments at Customs: purchasing, accounts and budget, internal audit, accounts and debt recovery, finance, corporate planning, change management and post-clearance audit.
He facilitated the change management process in the integration and modernisation of the GRA, selecting and training change agents to propagate the message to staff on successful movement from their current state to their future state.
He was the project manager who led the process of setting up the post-clearance audit department with the objective of ensuring holistic, audit-based customs control to help facilitate trade and maximise revenue.
Mr Asante-Gyimah has had 25 years of experience as a tax administrator in Ghana, 20 of which have been at management level. He started his career with the field audit unit of the erstwhile Customs, Excise and Preventive Service in 1990.
In 1994, he was seconded to the erstwhile Valued Added Tax Service (VATS).
He worked in various capacities as deputy commissioner in charge of finance and administration and later deputy commissioner for operations in the erstwhile VATS. He occupied the position of a deputy commissioner in the Medium Taxpayer Office of the domestic tax revenue division until he was made an acting commissioner.
He was a member of the steering committee which supervised the implementation of the tax reform and modernisation programme that brought about the integration of the institutions that make up the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Mr Gyimah obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Ghana Business School, Legon. He is a chartered accountant and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana since 1994.