Mr Afenyo-Markin (3rd left), Majority Leader, addressing the media. With him is Patricia Appiagyei (left), Deputy Majority Leader
Mr Afenyo-Markin (3rd left), Majority Leader, addressing the media. With him is Patricia Appiagyei (left), Deputy Majority Leader
Featured

Support government to grow economy - Majority Leader urges Minority MPs

The Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has called on members of the Minority Caucus to support the government to grow the economy.

Advertisement

He said the Minority must demonstrate patriotism and support the move to grant $350 million plus to 42 Ghanaian-owned companies under the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) policy.

Addressing the media in Parliament yesterday, Mr Afenyo-Markin said granting tax waivers would encourage the companies to make the needed investment, expand and create employment as well as become competitive in the sub-region.

“Because even in their era, they supported private sector initiatives without coming to Parliament; Dzata Cement is enjoying tax incentives that never came to Parliament for scrutiny,” he said. 

Context

When the Speaker of Parliament recalled the House on May 17, 2024, the issue of 1D1F was one of the three items on the agenda. However, the House approved ministerial nominees and the $150 million facility to finance the ongoing Greater Accra Resilient Integrated Development.

The House, however, stopped short of considering the tax waivers for the 42 companies after the Minority obstructed its approval after highlighting the fact that the Finance Committee report on it was not before the House.

Obstruction

The Majority Leader said the Minority Caucus, led by its Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, had persistently obstructed government business and denied Ghanaians the needed economic growth which would result in businesses investing in the country.

Such posture, he said, was in sharp contrast to the posture by Dr Forson during the era of the previous government. For instance, he recalled that in 2016, Ghana experienced the most outrageous tax giveaway ever seen when the NDC, led by former President John Mahama, handed a tax waiver of $832 million to Meridian Port Services (MPS), a foreign company.

At the time, he said the NDC government applied for a tax waiver of $982 million for the ports project and through the vigilance of the then Minority, “we shot it down to $832 million to save the government and Ghanaians $100 million.”

Mr Afenyo-Markin said those who championed the approval of the tax waivers were former Minister of Finance, Seth Tekper, and his deputies-Dr Ato Forson and Mona Quartey.
“According to the government records at the time, the MPS were to invest a little over $1.5 billion.” 

“So, from the tax waivers of $832 million granted them, what that meant was that for that investment the government of Ghana gave $0.55 cent in tax waiver for every dollar that MPS invested,” he said.

Political hypocrisy

He explained that MPS was exempt from corporate income tax for 10 years and a reduced corporate tax of 15 per cent after 10 years for additional five years. Again, Mr Afenyo-Markin said MPS was excluded from paying taxes on dividends to shareholders for 20 years.

“These were people who were in government and did the worst; now that you have a new government that is taking this country to a new level of industrialisation well guided and regulated, they will come and criticise.”

He said the NDC government also “unconstitutionally, illegally and immorally” without parliamentary approval designated some companies as “strategic investors” by the Ghana Investment Promotion Council and granted tax exemptions.

“Dzata Cement, one of the beneficiary companies, was granted a tax waiver but we did not complain because we were told it was a strategic investor,” he said.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...

0
Shares