Business News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
With the incessant calls on President Akufo-Addo to hurriedly implement and prove ways his administration would sustain the free Senior High School (SHS) promise that catapulted him into power, the founder of the Jesus Generation Ministries has called on those behind the calls to exercise restraint as the president builds his team to deliver his promise.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured that his government will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.
Although the president has given his assurance, Rt Rev Dr. Nana Anyani Boadum opines that the president, shouldn’t feel pressurised by the public to implement the free SHS promise.
He advocated that before President Akufo-Addo takes this bold step, he should first consult his finance and educational ministers to know what is really on the ground.
In an interview with Peacefmonline.com, he noted that if the president and his team of ministers are able to seal the various gaps through which Ghana loses millions of cedis, we could save enough money in our reserve to fund flagship projects like the free SHS.
Rt Rev Dr. Nana Anyani Boadum advised that Finance minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, should be given at least a year to study the public purse he inherited from the previous NDC government whilst the Educational minister, is made to form a formidable team that would facilitate a smooth take off of the free SHS programme.
He further called on Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta to thoroughly study the law that backs Ghana’s investment incentives and ask for a review from parliament.
“The finance minister should look at how multinational companies are taking advantage of our cooperate income taxation at the expense of the nation which denies us the needed growth in our educational sector”, he said.
“The president must focus on checking the lack of fiscal discipline in the management of public finance. Government should find prudent ways of sealing revenue leakages”, he added.
He bemoaned the practice where people who were put in charge of managing our finances were rather creating gaping holes to the disadvantage of the country.
Rt Rev Dr. Nana Anyani Boadum noted that the nation would be able to rake in more revenue collection if we able to seal the various loopholes within our financial sector.
Based on this, he called on the Akufo-Addo-led administration to find out the percentage of profit multinational companies which are operating in Ghana, retain here.
“Most multinational companies repatriate their profits without paying tax – their staffs according to the law are also exempted from tax and that is not good. This practice contributes to revenue loss to the nation and at the end; few nationals are burden with tax”, he explained.
He contends that the tax exemption given to such companies due to Ghana’s trade policy mainly to attract foreign investment must be reviewed because it is undermining national development.
“This administration must check unregulated tax incentives- this is because I suspect that certain companies that enjoy them did not have their go through Parliament for approval…They are milking us to the bone”.
The founder of the Jesus Generation Ministries added that for the nation to also build our macro economy, we needed sound fiscal policies which always evolve as a pivotal element in the economy.