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We’ll uncover GH¢11 billion in concealed taxes in the 2024 budget – Ricketts-Hagan

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These include extending the zero rate of VAT on locally manufactured African prints for two (2) more years, waiving import duties on electric vehicles imported for public transport for an eight-year period, waiving import duties on semi-knocked down and completely knocked down electric vehicles imported by registered EV assembly companies in Ghana for an eight-year period, and extending the zero rate of VAT on locally assembled vehicles for two (2) more years.

George Ricketts-Hagan, Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South, says the Minority caucus in Parliament would investigate the purported GH11 billion taxes buried in the government’s 2024 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, revealed eight tax reliefs the government aims to enact beginning next year when presenting the government’s 2024 budget in Parliament on Wednesday.

These include extending the zero rate of VAT on locally manufactured African prints for two (2) more years, waiving import duties on electric vehicles imported for public transport for an eight-year period, waiving import duties on semi-knocked down and completely knocked down electric vehicles imported by registered EV assembly companies in Ghana for an eight-year period, and extending the zero rate of VAT on locally assembled vehicles for two (2) more years.

Others included zero-rate VAT on locally produced sanitary pads, duty waivers for raw materials used in the local manufacture of sanitary pads, exemptions from the importation of agricultural machinery equipment and inputs, medical consumables, raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, and a VAT flat rate of 5% to replace the standard VAT rate of 15% on all commercial properties, which will be implemented to simplify administration.

In an interview with Citi FM’s Eyewitness News, Mr Ricketts-Hagan stated, “We know there’s GH11 billion in taxes [in the budget], but it’s concealed, so we’ll unravel it… We’ll unwrap it in a few days and reveal where they’ve been buried.”

“…They have been disguised, and that was the whole idea… So we have to open it up.”

However, the Deputy Trades Minister, Dr. Stephen Amoah, refuted such claims and urged the Cape Coast South MP and the Minority to focus on things such as the tax reliefs intended by the government to be implemented “rather than look for [non-existent] areas to criticize.”

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Prison sentence begins immediately Sedina Tamakloe arrives in Ghana

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Regarding the potential of her serving her jail sentence overseas owing to Ghana's terrible prison circumstances, the NPP member stated, "That is a point, but you cannot expect us to upgrade our prison conditions to the point where they have one person to a room with a TV set." Madam Tamakloe received a ten-year jail term for causing the state a financial loss of GHC90 million. Daniel Axim, the organization's former Operations Manager and collaborator, received a five-year prison sentence as well.

Kingsley Amoako-Boadu, a private legal practitioner, has stated that former Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) Sedina Tamakloe’s jail sentence will take effect as soon as she lands in Ghana.

He added that because she is not available within Ghana’s jurisdiction, the punishment can only begin once she comes.

“The jail term begins when she arrives in Ghana,” he explained on Key Points in April 2024.

Regarding the potential of her serving her jail sentence overseas owing to Ghana’s terrible prison circumstances, the NPP member stated, “That is a point, but you cannot expect us to upgrade our prison conditions to the point where they have one person to a room with a TV set.”

Madam Tamakloe received a ten-year jail term for causing the state a financial loss of GHC90 million. Daniel Axim, the organization’s former Operations Manager and collaborator, received a five-year prison sentence as well.

Madam Tamakloe was jailed in absentia while seeking court authorization to go to the United States for medical treatment.

Following the judgement, Deputy Attorney-General Alfred Tua-Yeboah stated that the state has begun proceedings to extradite the former MASLOC chief to Ghana to complete his sentence.

“We’ve started the processes and with this judgement, that is going to speed up the process. In Ghana we have various clauses, you can choose to just stay, but so far we have laws regulating how you can be extradited from one country to Ghana if there is a judgment like this one. Rest assured, she would be brought down and face justice,” he explained.

It would be recalled that speaking on the jailing of Sedina Tamakloe who was tried in absentia, on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 on Tuesday, April 16 Kpebu said “The main change we may face is prison conditions. INTERPOL will do their bit so that they will spread it all over the world, all the police agencies of all the countries in the world asking for her to be extradited to Ghana. But one of the key things we will be facing is the prison conditions in Ghana because I am aware in the past certain countries have refused to extradite persons to Ghana because of our very inhuman prison conditions, so that is the biggest challenge we will have when it comes to extradition, but a lot of countries do extradite persons back to Ghana.”

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La Dadekotopon: Akufo-Addo’s driver files to enter the NPP parliamentary primary

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Solomon Kotey Niikio, the area's MCE, has also filed a candidature to run. Joseph Addo, President Akufo-Addo's driver for more than 20 years, claims to have contributed to the constituency's progress. "I have helped the youth in this area get jobs and employment in government agencies"

President Akufo-Addo’s personal driver has registered a nomination for the La Dedekotopon NPP Parliamentary primary on April 27, 2024.

Joseph Addo, who was vetted and certified by the party’s Greater Accra Elections Committee, claims he would win the seat back for the NPP.

“I was born and bred here in La, I have lived all my life here so I am not new in this constituency.”

The National Executive Committee of the NPP approved a primary in the constituency after the elected Parliamentary Candidate, Dr Gerald Joseph Tetteh, resigned for personal reasons.

Solomon Kotey Niikio, the area’s MCE, has also filed a candidature to run.

Joseph Addo, President Akufo-Addo’s driver for more than 20 years, claims to have contributed to the constituency’s progress.

“I have helped the youth in this area get jobs and employment in government agencies”

He goes on to say that, “Recently when the party needed an office space after the destruction of the old office, I personally worked to get a new office for the party” .

Joseph Addo feels confident in winning the primary on April 27th and the general election on December 7th.

Rita Naa Odoley Sowah of the NDC won the La Dedekotopon seat in the 2020 election, defeating the NPP.

The NPP hopes to reclaim the seat in the December elections.

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We will pursue everyone who has misused state monies – Mahama

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Speaking on Tuesday, April 16, as part of his "Building the Ghana We Want" trip in the North East Region, he emphasised the necessity of accountability and openness in governance, stating that anybody found guilty of misappropriating monies will face repercussions. The previous president promised to empower investigative and anti-corruption authorities to function properly throughout his term. He hopes to eliminate corruption and maintain Ghana's rule of law by enabling these authorities to carry out their tasks without interference. Mr Mahama encouraged Ghana's young to be positive and asked them to vote for the NDC in the 2024 elections, promising a brighter future under his leadership.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, has issued a strong warning to existing government appointees implicated in the misuse of public monies.

He stated unequivocally that anyone guilty of such activities would be held accountable for the harm done to the nation if elected in future elections.

Mr. Mahama emphasised that his objective is not to conduct a witch hunt, but rather to guarantee that state resources are used for their proper purposes, therefore benefiting the Ghanaian people.

Speaking on Tuesday, April 16, as part of his “Building the Ghana We Want” trip in the North East Region, he emphasised the necessity of accountability and openness in governance, stating that anybody found guilty of misappropriating monies will face repercussions.

The previous president promised to empower investigative and anti-corruption authorities to function properly throughout his term. He hopes to eliminate corruption and maintain Ghana’s rule of law by enabling these authorities to carry out their tasks without interference.

Mr Mahama encouraged Ghana’s young to be positive and asked them to vote for the NDC in the 2024 elections, promising a brighter future under his leadership.

He stressed the need for joint work in creating a wealthy and fair society, underlining the role of youth in moulding the country’s future.

“I can assure them that the people of Ghana will hold them accountable for their actions.” We are not intending to witch-hunt anyone, but if you have harmed the people of Ghana and misused their money, you must account for it. So investigative and corruption institutions will operate, and the young of our nation must acknowledge the harm done to them,” he stated.

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