According to the NDC, the president has granted this waiver to alleged businessman to help him build a hotel at Airport City.
In a statement signed by the Director of Communications of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, the NDC said it's strange why the government will grant such a huge waiver at a time it is struggling with revenue mobilisation.
“Secondly, we condemn in no uncertain terms the self-seeking decision of President Akufo-Addo to dole out a whopping $24 million as tax waivers to this same company, owned by his in-law and appointee, at a time Ghanaians are bearing the brunt of his insensitive tax policies such as, the 50% increase in the Communication Service Tax", the statement said.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW
PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO FURTHER ENTRENCHES NEPOTISM AND CORRUPTION – DOLES OUT US$24 MILLION IN TAX WAIVERS TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW FOR HOTEL PROJECT.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), has observed with dismay, the granting of tax waivers close to the tune of $24 million (equivalent to over GHS130 billion old Cedis), for the construction of a hotel project of a brother-in-law of President Akufo-Addo.
In a letter from the Office of the President dated 13th November 2019, the Finance Minister was instructed to obtain the approval of Parliament to grant Platinum Properties Limited, a Strategic Investor status in order to give effect to President Akufo-Addo’s grant of several tax exemptions to the company for the development of the Pullman Accra Airport City Hotel and Serviced Apartments project in Airport City, Accra.
Pursuant to this letter which was signed by Cousin and Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who is also a cousin to the President, submitted to Parliament, a request for waiver of several taxes amounting to the tune of the Ghana Cedi equivalent of Twenty-Three Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Three Thousand, Thirty-Three United Sates Dollars and Forty-Three Cents (US$23,983,033.43), for the importation of materials and equipment for the said hotel project.
It is instructive to note, that the project for which this huge tax holiday is being granted is partly owned by Inter-Afrique Holdings Limited and Platinum Properties Limited both of which are chaired by one Dr. Kwame Nyantakyi Owusu.
Dr. Kwame Nyantakyi Owusu is an appointee of President Akufo-Addo on the governing Board of the Bank of Ghana and an in-law of the President by dint of the fact that they are both married to two blood sisters.
In the first place, we wish to register our revulsion and disgust at the abuse of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) by President Akufo-Addo to finance his brother in-law’s hotel project which offers absolutely nothing beneficial to the Ghanaian taxpayer.
Aside the question of conflict of interest that this matter raises, it is clear that the appropriation of public funds to finance such a project defeats the objects of the GIIF which was established by former President Mahama in the year 2014, to mobilize, manage, coordinate and provide financial resources for strategic investments for national development.
Secondly, we condemn in no uncertain terms the self-seeking decision of President Akufo-Addo to dole out a whopping $24 million as tax waivers to this same company, owned by his in-law and appointee, at a time Ghanaians are bearing the brunt of his insensitive tax policies such as, the 50% increase in the Communication Service Tax, 5% increase in Value Added Tax, 23% increase in ESLA, increase in income tax, among others.
The NDC is appalled by President Akufo-Addo’s continuous misappropriation of Public Funds for the benefit of his family members, friends and cronies, especially at a time that Ghanaians are experiencing excruciating hardships as a result of his bad leadership.
However, this latest debacle involving President Akufo-Addo sharing state largesse like groundnuts to his family, kindred and kinsmen does not come as any surprise to us in the NDC.
Ghanaians would recall how last year, we exposed the stinking rot of nepotism being practised by President Akufo-Addo and its potential to breed corruption. In that press conference, we spoke about how President Akufo-Addo in December 2018, allowed the state-owned Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Fund (GIIF) to finance a private hotel project being undertaken by his brother in law, Dr Kwame Nyantakyi Owusu.
As if that was not enough, President Akufo-Addo has added insult to injury by doling out an extra GHS130 billion in the form of tax waivers for the same project.
If anyone was in doubt then, then this latest scandal bears out the fears we expressed on that day. Here is an in-law of the President, hiding behind the vehicle of Public-Private Partnership, to exploit public funds and obtain tax waivers worth billion of cedis for the construction of a hotel project that offers no benefits for the Ghanaian people.
The NDC hereby demands that President Akufo-Addo reverses this nepotistic, self-seeking tax waiver and channels same into developmental projects such as the provision of schools, hospitals, roads, portable water among others, to address the socio-economic needs of Ghanaians. We shall stop at nothing, including occupying the premises of this ongoing hotel project to compel President Akufo-Addo to reverse this obscene and self-seeking tax waiver.
In the coming weeks, we shall address a detailed press conference on the sordid Pullman Accra Airport City Hotel project and other stinking corruption scandals being supervised by President Akufo-Addo and his government of family and friends.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
(National Communication Officer, NDC)