The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused President Akufo-Addo of nepotism and corruption for allegedly granting $24 million in tax waivers to his brother-in-law for the construction of a hotel.
In a statement copied to Joy News, the NDC claims to have sighted a letter dated November 13, 2019, from the Office of the President, instructing the Finance Minister 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 $23,983,033.43, for the importation of materials and equipment for the said hotel project,” the statement signed by Communications Officer, Sammy Gymafi claimed.
According to Mr Gymafi, the project for which the tax holiday was being granted is partly owned by Inter-Afrique Holdings Limited and Platinum Platinum Properties Limited both of which are chaired by one Dr. Kwame Nyantakyi Owusu.
Dr. Kwame Nyantakyi Owusu, he asserted, 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.
The NDC says it is disgusted by 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.”
The NDC is demanding that the President reverses the “nepotistic, self-seeking tax waiver” and instead use the money for developmental projects 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,” the statement said.