A five-member committee set up by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has absolved senior Customs Officer Mr. Felix Mate-Kodjo of any wrongdoing during his working tenure at the Takoradi port.
The committee chaired by Mr. Frank Jones Abban found that the allegations of underhand dealings to shortchange the state of revenue were without merit and substance.
Other members of the committee included Mr. Godwin Attoh, Ewusi Brown, John Vianney Kuudamnuru and Boniface Owusu, the secretary.
A close officer to Mr. Mate-Kodjo at the Takoradi enclave of the revenue collecting agency, Stanley Boye-Quaye had alleged in a petition on 18th October 2013 to GRA bosses at the headquarters that his colleague did underhand dealings ‘’ on Customs Declaration number 42011419712 for Oceaneering Engineering Ltd.’’
He alleged that, “In the FCVR for that declaration, the item, ‘’Buoyancy block’’ was classified under HS Code 701690000, which attracted import duty rate of 20% and VAT of 12.5%. Mr. Felix Mate-Kodjo, then as Chief Collector in charge of Compliance, hacked the FCVR menu in the GCMS and fraudulently changed the HS Code, for that item (in FCVR No. WFG11006897) to read 8459100000 with all duty and tax rates of zero (0%), after both of us had determined that the said item was a candidate for HS Code 701690000.”
Mr. Stanley Boye-Quaye also claimed: “This callous hacking and manipulation of the HS Code within the database of the Customs Management System alone resulted in a revenue loss in excess of GH¢ 43,841.00.’’
However, the committee that sat to investigate and put the allegations to strict proof found that it was not possible for any hacking of a sort to happen in the Customs Management System.
The committee found that the allegations of Mr. Boye-Quaye had some malice and personal feud with Mr. Mate-Kodjo.
Dissatisfied with the committee findings and the intent to pursue personal vendetta against Mr. Mate-Kodjo, this news portal has picked up signals that Mr. Boye-Quaye and his proteges are resulting to media war and propaganda to exert pound of flesh.
Sources at the GRA headquarters told this reporter at the time of filing this report that they were surprised that the baseless allegations that were dismissed way back in 2013 are now finding their way to some newspaper tabloids and online portals.
“This is only an agenda to destroy and tarnish the name of this hardworking man. He is currently one of the diligent and experienced senior officers who has been teaching us how to handle the job of revenue collection using latest trends,” a junior staff said.
Mr. Mate-Kodjo, who is a Deputy Commissioner currently in charge of Port Operations at the Customs Headquarters, has ruffled some furthers with his avowed aim to block revenue leakage and stealing at Tema.
A close confidante to him disclosed that the introduction of a standardized pricing regime for valuation of consignments through the handiwork of Mate-Kodjo is raking in some revenue towards meeting the 2020 collection target of GHS55billion.
Mr. Mate-Kodjo is on record to have turned around the fortunes of revenue collection to the State when he was sent to the Volta region last year in July.
MyNewsGh.com discovered that Mr. Mate-Kodjo’s standardized pricing regime for consignments valuation and the deployment of intelligence made revenue shoot to a staggering GHS1.4billion for the period of August to December 2019 at the Ho enclave when in fact the GRA set a target of GHS647.8million for the period in question.
Revenue collection target at Nyive enclave from August to December last year in the Volta region which was set at GHS200.9million shot incredibly to GHS 565.9million thanks to the leadership resolve of Mr. Mate-Kodjo.
Another revenue collection point on the eastern corridor called Shia also recorded remarkable improvements. Revenue target of GHS174.5million almost tripled when GHS443.2million was collected for the period of August to December 2019.
Official records obtained from the headquarters of the Ghana Revenue Authority reveal that the period of August to December last year recorded the collection of a total GHS328.4million at the Batume enclave of Volta region. This was a massive improvement as the GRA had only set a target of GHS176million for the period under review.
Mr. Mate-Kodjo’s stellar accomplishments endeared him to the upper echelons of the GRA Ho chapter to give him an award with citation reading, “Your creativity, innovation and outstanding support for revenue mobilisation in Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division Ho collection was overwhelming since July 2019 up to date. Your managerial and technical assistance in providing the very best initiatives and strategies for stakeholders towards revenue mobilisation has a lasting impact. Your dedication and tenacity had made Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division Ho Collection exceeded it’s revenue target for the year 2019 by one hundred and fifty per cent (150%) exemplifying one of the core mandates (growing revenue) of the Authority. Deputy Commissioner Operations, Mr. Mate-Kodjo, we owe you a deep sense of gratitude for such a vision and direction given to this successful journey. Management, officers and men of Ho Collection wish to acknowledge your contributions. Ayeekoo.”
Checks conducted at GRA headquarters indicate that Mr. Mate-Kodjo was by a letter dated 12th June 2020 and signed by acting Commissioner Col Kwadwo Damoah asked to “proceed on terminal leave from 15th June, to 22nd September” as he will be attaining the compulsory retiring age of 60 on 23rd September.
In a very uncompromising tone and style, Mr. Mate-Kodjo was asked to hand over as acting Deputy Commissioner in charge of Port Operations to Mr. Col Damoah, the signee.
Further checks conducted revealed that Mr. Mate-Kodjo duly obliged instructions in the said letter and went home.
In a dramatic twist however, the GRA Board chaired by Prof. Stephen Adei at its meeting on 15th June called back Mr. Mate-Kodjo “to report to work until your due date of retirement (22nd September, 2020) unless otherwise directed.”
Sources within the GRA board said Mr. Mate-Kodjo is considered to have vital knowledge and experience in revenue collection hence the decision to recall him to work.
He is expected to train the young officers and bequeath a wealth of working knowledge in revenue collection before he exits the four walls of Ghana Customs.