Prez. Akufo Addo’s Tax Waiver In-law Linked to Osafo Marfo, BoG

It has emerged that the beneficiary of President Akufo Addo-inspired tax waiver of a whopping US$24 million for the Pullman Hotel chain is also a member of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) board and a buddy of Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo on the  2017 transition team of the New Patriotic Party.
Checks by Whatsup News shows that Dr. Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu who is incidentally a brother-in-law to President Akufo Addo has a close working relationship with the President, having been put on the transition team and on the BoG board in 2017, immediately the NPP government assumed the reins of power.
This relationship has reinforced perceptions that the ability of Dr. Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu to marshall such a controversial tax waiver on his property development was hinged on his close relationship with the President.
The Jubilee House recently waded in to recommend a whopping US$24 million tax waiver on a US$ 73 million hotel project for the Pullman Accra City Hotel & Services Apartments being constructed by Platinum Properties Limited, a company owned by Dr. Nyantekyi-Owusu.
On Tuesday, January 28, 2020, the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta presented a Paper to Parliament requesting for waiver of Import Duties, Import VAT, Import NHIL Levy, Import GETFund Levy, Domestic VAT, Domestic NHIL and Domestic GETFund amounting to a whopping US$24 million on a hotel project estimated to cost US $ 73 million.
Whatsup News is in possession of a long paper trail of the request for tax waiver that went through the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC), the Finance Ministry (headed by President Akufo Addo’s Cousin), Office of the President and finally to the Ghanaian Parliament.
Curiously, the US$ 73 million project will consist of more than US$ 66 million imported materials and equipment, while only a paltry US$ 6 million of input will be sourced from Ghana.
Analysts say the reason for such high import is because Platinum Properties is certain it will enjoy massive tax waivers from its relatives in government.
On Monday, December 17, 2018, President Akufo Addo, cut the sod for the commencement of the project, as critics speculate that Dr. Nyantekyi-Owusu may be fronting for the President.
The project dubbed the Pullman Accra City Hotel & Services Apartments is a dual-hospitality project being touted as “Ghana’s largest and most distinguished hotel facility”
Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has sent a note to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, demanding that he immediately withdraws a tax waiver request for an amount of US$24 million tax waiver, saying the waiver does not conform to the official protocols.
The NDC insists the waiver is a clear abuse of power and that never in the history of the country has such a tax waiver request been made for a wholly Ghanaian private firm where the government or State has no interest in the project, that entity will execute or undertake.
The tax waiver request, according to inside sources, has already received Cabinet approval.
“The concerns of the Minority in this matter is the quantum of the money involved. It is extremely unacceptable that we are being asked to waive a tax of almost US$24million which is the equivalent of GH₵136,000million in favour of a purely private owned company with no state interest in this company. Now, what therefore is the benefit of the Republic of Ghana, particularly, when the location of the said hotel which is at the Airport City enclave contain other private properties which have been constructed by other citizens and other private companies who didn’t enjoy tax waiver? So, already you are placing this competitor at an advantage” stated Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, a spokesperson for the Minority and North Dayi.
 

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