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Akufo-Addo appoints Joe Ghartey as GRA Board Chair

Source The Ghana Report

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed former Railways Minister, Joe Ghartey as the new Board Chair of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Other members of the nine-member board,  chaired by the Member of Parliament for Essikado Ketan Constituency include, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng a tax and fiscal policy enthusiast, who is the representative of the Finance Ministry, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo Awadzi, and Commissioner General of the GRA, Julie Essiam.

Mr Ghartey replaces Dr. Tony Oteng Gyasi who resigned as the Board Chair of  GRA in March 2024, following the dissolution of the board by President Akufo-Addo.

READ ALSO: Akufo-Addo Accepts Oteng-Gyasi’s Resignation As GRA Board Chair

Mr. Ghartey has been assigned with the responsibility of reforming the GRA, and streamlining its operations.

About GRA 

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

READ ALSO: Stephen Ntim Appointed Board Chairman Of NPA

GRA apart from its core mandate, also administers several international agreements that govern the country’s relations with other tax jurisdictions and institutions such as World Customs Organisation Protocols, World Trade Organisation Protocols, Double Taxation, and Exchange of Information Agreements.

The Authority is made up of two operational divisions; the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD), and the Customs Division (CD) with assistance from the Support Services Division (SSD) and the Commissioner General’s Secretariat.

Brief Profile of Joe Ghartey

Joe Ghartey is a Ghanaian lawyer, academic, and politician, currently serving as the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan Constituency in the Western Region. He is also a former Attorney-General of Ghana, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and Railways Development Minister. Joe Ghartey hails from Shama, in the Western Region of the Republic of Ghana.

Legal career and academia
Ghartey undertook his National Service duty as a Legal Officer to the Komenda Eguafo Abirem District Assembly in the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana. He later became an Associate at the Chambers of Lawyer Gwira in Sekondi. Later, he would join the firm of Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co., a leading law firm in Ghana, which was co-founded by his future colleague parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister in the John Kufuor administration, Nana Akufo-Addo. Ghartey left this firm after seven years and by 1994 co-founded the law firm, Ghartey & Ghartey with his wife Efua Ghartey, who is a respected lawyer in her own right. He is currently the Senior Partner at Ghartey & Ghartey, a well-respected firm, Barristers & Sand Solicitors located at Labone in Accra.

As a speaker and a teacher, Ghartey has also lectured in various fields of Law and Investment. He was an adjunct lecturer of Investment Law at the University of Ghana Business School. He has also served as a lecturer of Corporate Governance and Executive MBA at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He was also for a period an instructor at the Ghana Stock Exchange. In 2004, he authored what became Ghana’s leading legal publication on Investment and Business, “Doing Business and Investing in Ghana – Legal and Institutional Framework”. He also taught Company Law at the Ghana School of Law and Mountcrest University in Accra.

Political career and governance
Ghartey is a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He was inspired to join the Party in 1992 because it espouses strong values that he shares personally — Freedom, Democracy, Respect for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, as well as Private Sector Development, philosophies that are very dear to his heart. He started as a member of the Sekondi Campaign Team and later served as Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Disciplinary Committee of the Party.

He was part of the team that wrote the “Stolen Verdict”, in 1993, with a detailed account of the widespread electoral malpractices during the 1992 general election. He chaired the Session of the National Conference which amended the constitution of the NPP at the Trade Fair Center in Accra on 22 August 2009. This was when the Electoral College for the election of presidential candidates was expanded from a few thousand delegates to more than one hundred thousand delegates.

He was also a member of the team of legal experts appointed by the National Council of the NPP to review the conduct of the election petition filed in the Supreme Court after the 2012 general elections and to provide recommendations. The Committee submitted its report to the National Council. The report included proposals for reform of the electoral process in Ghana.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice
In June 2006, a Ministerial reshuffle by President Kufuor saw Ghartey being elevated from Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to the substantive position. He was subsequently sworn into office by President Kufuor on 16 June 2006 as the 20th Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of Ghana. He was another laudable addition to a long line of distinguished former Ghanaian Attorney-Generals as Victor Owusu (1966–69), and Nana Akufo-Addo (2001–03).

As Attorney-General, Ghartey launched an Agenda for Change in the Ministry of Justice. The main aim was to radically improve the effectiveness of the office and impact significantly on all aspects of justice delivery in Ghana. Its flagship programme was ”Justice for All” which, among other things, aimed at providing access to the courts for people who had been in remand custody for long periods without prosecution. This programme saw the release of hundreds of incarcerated persons who had not been prosecuted or convicted but were being held by the State.

As the Attorney General, he led his legal teams to court on several high-profile cases. His special interest in Investment Law was evident in developing legal framework and infrastructure for the all-important Oil and Gas Industry. As a member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, he was instrumental in establishing the Petroleum Commission of Ghana. As a cabinet minister, he represented the President at several international forums on legal and investment matters.

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