The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been exposed over claims that President Akufo-Addo granted tax waivers to his brother-in-law through the Ghana Investment Promotion (GIPC). The NDC, earlier this year, accused the President of corruption alleging that he granted a tax waiver to the tune of 24 million dollars to his brother-in-law for the construction of a hotel.
But contributing to a debate on the floor of the house on Tuesday 18th February 2020, Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah established that “all the commentary thrown into the public domain that the president has granted a tax waiver to a company called Platinum Properties is not true because in accordance with the constitution, no President on his own has the power to grant a tax waiver. It’s is rather Parliament that has the power to grant waivers. If indeed any waivers had been granted why are we here Mr. Speaker? We are here to consider a request for tax waivers. And from today let that propaganda be extinguished. It is just not true”.
Mr. Nkrumah who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi refuted the claim by the Minority MPs and the NDC stating that “if anybody purports to grant a tax waiver, that person must come to this hallowed chamber and make an application and if members here consider it fit for purpose, parliament is the right body responsible to grant this waiver”.
According to article 174(2) of the 1992 constitution, “where an act enacted in accordance with clause 1 of this article confers power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by that act, the exercise of that power or waiver of all variation in favor of any person or authority shall be subject to the prior approval of parliament by resolution”.
Mr. Nkrumah explained that for the first time, Parliament had now been seized with an application to grant such a waiver and will consider same in accordance with section 26(4) of Act 865.
The Minister admonished the minority to stop their usual propaganda and always be truthful when discussing national issues.
The house is now considering the application for waiver after it was recommended by the Board of the GIPC as a strategic investment which will inure to the benefit of Ghana.
In his submissions Mr. Nkrumah showcased a list of companies which were granted illegal waivers between 2013 and 2016 under the GIPC act, without recourse to Parliament. He opined that while the NDC was accusing President Akufo-Addo wrongly, they rather indeed had granted several waivers without recourse to Parliament. Contrary to expectations that the minority benches would dispute the claim Many watchers of the Parliamentary proceedings were amazed that the minority was unable to rebut or refute the Honorable Ministers assertions.