Rescind your ‘insensitive’ decision – Coalition to Akufo-Addo on Kwame Owusu

A group calling itself Tax Justice Coalition Ghana has pleaded with President Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately rescind his decision to appoint Kwame Owusu as the board chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). “The Coalition views the appointment as insensitive to the public outcry about the alleged acts of corruption and conflict of interest issues while the said Mr. Owusu was the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and, in fact ,a slap on the faces of Ghanaian tax payers,” the Coalition said in a statement issued on Monday, July 22. Signed by National Coordinator Leonard Shang-Quartey, the statement noted that the appointment flies in the face of government in its fight against corruption. Mr Owusu was served a letter of appointment to chair GRA’s board after retiring from GMA. “The Coalition sees this appointment as not only inconsistent with the government’s declared stance against corruption but also not showing any effort on the part of government to build public confidence in the GRA, in particular, and the country’s public financial management system, in general.” Find the statement below: Tax Justice Coalition Ghana Calls for the Removal of the New Ghana Revenue Authority Board Chairperson The Tax Justice Coalition Ghana calls on Government to withdraw the appointment of the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Revenue Authority whose appointment was communicated to him a week ago. The Coalition views the appointment as insensitive to the public outcry about the alleged acts of corruption and conflict of interest issues while the said Mr. Owusu was the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and, in fact a slap on the faces of Ghanaian tax payers. While serving as the Director General of the GMA, Mr. Kwame Owusu was alleged to have inappropriately applied financial resources of the GMA, including spending a whopping GHC135,125  for an end of year dinner and GHC10,652 on another occasion on food for 17 people. He was also reported to have spent GHc1 million to renovate a 2-bedroom house into a 4-bedroom apartment and fixed 11 air-conditioners in the house. However, there has not been any credible investigation into the alleged scandals so far and an exoneration of Mr. Owusu in spite of the public uproar. Yet, Mr. Owusu has been appointed to another public position which requires much trust and integrity due to its mandate of mobilising revenues for the country’s development agenda. The Coalition sees this appointment as not only inconsistent with the government’s declared stance against corruption but also not showing any effort on the part of government to build public confidence in the GRA, in particular, and the country’s public financial management system, in general. The Coalition is also surprised that, in spite of the requirement of advice of the Council of State, this appointment has been made.  The Coalition wonders whether the Council of State was not aware of the allegations or did not find them serious enough to advise against the appointment or whether the Council advised against it, but the President ignored the advice. In the view of the Coalition, until Mr. Owusu’s issues at the Ghana Maritime Authority are fully investigated and he is exonerated, he cannot be given that appointment. Ghanaians, in general, and the taxpayers, in particular, cannot trust its revenue collecting institution to a person that has unresolved questions of integrity hanging around his neck. Based on the above concerns and the unresolved allegations of financial scandals surrounding the new Board Chairperson, the Coalition joins many concerned citizens and CSOs in calling on His Excellency, President Nana Akufo Addo to rescind his decision on this appointment. We believe that this action will contribute to improving public trust in the GRA and boost the domestic revenue generation efforts of Government.   Signed

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LEONARD SHANG-QUARTEY (NATIONAL COORDINATOR) Source: 3news.com|Ghana]]>