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Illicit financial flows derail GRA’s effort in revenue mobilisation

Illicit financial flows are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another that are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilised

Illicit financial flows have become a threat to the economic growth of many countries around the world and Ghana, as a developing country, is not an exception.

According to Global Financial Integrity, the immediate impact of illicit financial flows in developing countries is the lack of funds to undertake public projects, which also affects the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Illicit financial flows are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another that are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilised.

The menace also fuels insecurity and instability, while people who indulge in illicit financial flows evade tax payments.

In a recent (July 2023) report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), supported by the African Development Bank Group, it is estimated that Africa loses US$60 billion each year in illicit financial flows.

In Ghana, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), complains over how the country loses millions of cedis over non compliance with tax payments.

However, assistant commissioner and technical advisor to the Commissioner General of the GRA, Dominic Dokbilla Naab, said illicit financial flows are one of the factors that overshadow the commission’s efforts in revenue generation.

He said that despite the various policies put in place to mobilise revenue, “illicit financial flows turn to derail all the work we have done to mobilise revenue to develop our beloved country.”

Naab mentioned this during a public forum on improving domestic resource mobilisation and combating illicit financial flows in Ghana organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Accra on Wednesday (4 October).

He is optimistic that GRA will continue to do it’s best to collect taxes for the country’s development.

Tackling illicit financial flows in Ghana

The Media Foundation for West Africa, a non-profit organisation has over the years implemented programmes to combat the menace.

One of such measures is, the Next Generation Investigative Journalism Fellowship (NGIJ). The programme is designed to house and train young journalists from Ghana and other West African countries.

It is funded by Norad and Oxfam; currently, the third cohort of 10 young journalists shortlisted from across the country are practicing in a three-month fellowship.

It is aimed at encouraging reportage on illicit financial flows, revenue mobilisation, corruption, poor governance, and other factors that deprive Ghana of socioeconomic development.

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) have pledged to continue to carry out their mandates, making sure that illicit financial flows are tackled and reduced in the country in order to encourage tax payments among individuals and firms.

 

Reporting by Albert Kuzor in Accra

 

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