Tackling COVID-19: GRA ventures into production of hand sanitizers

In a bid to complement government’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has commenced the manufacturing and distribution of locally-made sanitizers for use by its over 14,000 staff across the country.

The product, which is formulated at GRA’s Customs Laboratory in Accra and contains Ethanol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Glycerol and Purified water, has been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Hand sanitizers are essential in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, the Acting Commissioner of GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said the Authority has so far produced and delivered 5,799 litres (417 cartons) for use by staff and visitors across its facilities nationwide.

He said the initiative is aimed at distributing sanitizers to all staff members in various offices and outposts nationwide as a precautionary measure to against the disease.

“We estimate that GHS164,000 will be saved monthly by manufacturing the sanitizers in our laboratory as opposed to buying from other sources” he said.

He said in addition to the sanitizers, GRA also provides free nose masks and other PPE to all its field workers to protect them from contracting the virus.

Mr. Owusu-Amoah informed the public, especially taxpayers, about the re-opening of its offices following the government’s lifting of restrictions in Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Accra.

He however sympathized with those whose lives and businesses have been badly affected as a result of the outbreak of the disease in Ghana, and assured the public that GRA has instituted adequate measures in all its offices to ensure adherence to safety practices such as social distancing, use of sanitizers, hand washing, among others.

He said taxpayers who may find it difficult to visit GRA offices can continue filing their returns online via email and subsequent payments through banks.

He said GRA remains committed to its core mandate to ensure maximum compliance with all relevant laws in order to achieve a sustainable revenue stream for government.

He thus appealed to all taxpayers to fulfill their tax obligation to ensure revenue targets are met to support government’s intervention to citizens during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Commissioner General also said that while the Authority supports President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s COVID-19 interventions to lessen the impact of the outbreak on individuals and businesses in Ghana, taxpayers should not intentionally fail to submit their taxes, since all necessary efforts will be made to facilitate payments during the period.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was established in 2009 as a merger of the three revenue agencies, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Value Added Tax Service (VATS), and the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB) in accordance with the Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009, (Act 791).

GRA’s core mandate is to ensure maximum compliance with all relevant laws in order to ensure a sustainable revenue stream for government, trade facilitation and a controlled and safe flow of goods across the country’s borders.

Since 2009, GRA has been introducing new technology, to make it convenient and cheaper for taxpayers to file returns, pay taxes and comply with tax laws. In 2018 GRA introduced two key products namely: Integrated Tax Application and Preparation Systems (iTaPS) and the Excise Tax Stamp Authenticator (ETSA).

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