The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) realised about GH¢149 million from its internally generated funds (IGFs), exceeding its revenue target for 2021 by 14 per cent.
The amount is 14 per cent more than what the service raised in 2019 from activities such as the issuance of resident permits to foreigners, fines and penalties imposed on foreigners who breached immigration laws, as well as prudent spending by the service.
In 2019, even though the GIS projected to raise about GHc142 million, it only managed to generate about GHc130 million, while in 2020 there was a significant shortfall due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Kwame Assuah-Takyi, attributed the improved IGFs to management’s decision to, among other things, cut down on spending, as well as make the process of revenue collection more efficient.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Assuah-Takyi said the COVID-19 pandemic affected most businesses, including foreign investment and tourism, from where the GIS derived most of its revenue.
He said in the face of the sharp fall in IGFs, management had to strategise by instituting measures to achieve the revenue target by cutting down on all leakages in revenue mobilisation and frivolous expenditure.
“I commend every member of the service who has helped to achieve our target for his or her effort. We owe this phenomenal achievement to the prudent measures put in place by management to block all revenue leakages.
“Also, management prioritised its expenditure items in a bid to cut down on spending that had no immediate bearing on the overall growth and operations of the service,” he added.
Mr Assuah-Takyi said the service also enhanced its revenue monitoring and reconciliation strategy, which ensured that the right fees and penalties were paid.
“For instance, during the past year, the Operations and Enforcement Department conducted an extensive exercise across the country, during which illegal residents staying and working in the country were processed and appropriate penalties charged on them and the companies they worked for.
“After that, they were made to pay the required fees for their permits to be reactivated, and all that helped to improve our revenue,” he said.
Mr Assuah-Takyi also said the creation of more regions had led to the opening up of more revenue collection points by the GIS.