You’re Sabotaging The Economy – Minority Told

Alexander Afenyo Markin


The Majority Caucus in Parliament has stated that the NDC Minority MPs’ persistent opposition to the government’s tax waivers for companies under the One-District-One-Factory policy is an act of economic sabotage.

According to the caucus, it has identified a growing number of low-level sabotage activities in the approval process of tax waivers for 42 Ghanaian companies.

“The Minority Leader, Dr. Ato Forson is leading that charge on behalf of the Minority NDC in Parliament, and their main aim is to obstruct government business and to deny the people of Ghana the needed economic growth, which will result from businesses investing in the country,” Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, told the media in Parliament yesterday.

He said the NDC MPs’ stance on the less than $450 million tax waivers currently being considered by the House is politically hypocritical, adding that the most outrageous tax giveaway ever seen in Ghana happened under the Mahama-led administration.

The Majority Leader recalled that in June 2015, the NDC government, led by ex-President John Dramani Mahama, submitted an application to Parliament for tax exemptions and concessions totaling $982 million for Meridian Port Services (MPS) Limited.

“This amount was reduced to US$ 832 million by the intervention of the Minority and on June 7, 2016, Parliament approved the request,” he added, and contrasted this to the $450 million tax waiver request before the House.

“All 42 companies that the government has so far brought to Parliament, the total waiver being requested is not even up to $450 million. And these are Ghanaian companies.”

“Even so, there is one company, Century, which is supposed to undertake a refinery of oil. It’s a major investment. Upon further interrogation, their request has further been cut by $100 million,” the Majority Leader said.

“So as it is today, the 42 companies that are before Parliament for tax waiver, the total is not up to even $350 million, as compared to $832 million tax waiver granted MPS for the investment they made under the NDC regime,” he noted.

According to Afenyo-Markin, while this foreign company is still enjoying all these freebies granted it by the Mahama administration, the NDC MPs have turned a blind eye to Ghanaian companies which need these tax exemptions to expand and employ more Ghanaians.

“Akufo-Addo’s vision is an industrialised economy where Ghanaians are given the opportunity to do business so that our young graduates will get the opportunity to be employed, rather than wait for public sector work,” he intimated.


Dzata Cement

He wondered why the Minority was bent on sabotaging Ghanaian companies after the NDC administration, led by John Dramani Mahama, unconstitutionally and illegally granted tax exemptions to Dzata Cement Limited, a company owned by the ex-President’s brother, without recourse to Parliament.

“They came out with a policy that there were some investments that they considered strategic and because of that they are supposed to enjoy some tax incentives.

“So through an executive fiat, President Mahama, as he then was, sat in his office at Jubilee House and gave orders to the Ministry of Finance, listed some companies, including Dzata Cement, and granted them tax incentives by virtue of the nature of their business being strategic for our economy,” he said.

According to the Majority Leader, the NPP, as a pro-business party with a private sector orientation, interpreted this to indicate that by offering such concessions, these companies would make the necessary investments, expand, and employ more Ghanaians.

“Dzata Cement was a company that benefited from this unconstitutional, illegal tax incentive. We all know, by the imperative of the Constitution, it is only Parliament that can impose tax or waive tax,” he concluded.


By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House