General News of Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Ace music producer, Mark Okraku Mantey, who has openly declared his support for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has ranked former President Jerry John Rawlings above former presidents John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta Mills and current president John Dramani Mahama.
According to him, Rawlings’ performance in the area of infrastructural development to support the creative arts in Ghana surpasses that of all the presidents who have ruled the nation in the Fourth republic.
Speaking on Burning Issues on Adom FM, on the contribution of the creative arts industry to national development, the controversial music producer said apart from Rawlings, none of the presidents has been able to erect an edifice dedicated to the creative arts industry in Ghana.
He stated that that Rawlings built two auditoriums for the promotion of creative arts during his era namely; National Theatre and Accra International Conference Center and they have sustained the industry till date.
The former music reality show judge explained that even though the Conference Center was initially built for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in 1991, it is currently one of the major auditoriums for hosting entertainment events and other social gatherings.
“At least former President Rawlings will be remembered for his monumental legacy that is the building of the two auditoriums and that should have been replicated by the three presidents that followed him,” he said.
He continued that, President Mahama has been trumpeting his achievements with regards to the massive infrastructural development in the country but nothing has been done for the creative arts industry.
The Chief Executive Officer for Slip Music Records commended former President Kufuor for introducing a tax waiver system on the importation of musical instrumentals during his era as a means of promoting music in Ghana.
He revealed that the waiver was short-lived because it was canceled immediately after President Kuffour left office without notifying the stakeholders in the music industry.
“Sidiku Buari complained to President Kufuor about the high taxes imposed on the importation of entertainment equipment and he promised to give us a waiver, which he did. I later became stranded at the Kotoka International Airport when I was asked to pay for a mixer I wanted to bring to Ghana,” he revealed.
“Upon reaching the airport, I was asked to pay tax on the machine but I hadn’t budgeted for that because I knew it was free. Becca and Majid Michel were at the scene and can bear witness to that. At least they should have told us that they were bringing the tax back so we become aware,” he added.