GRA Boss Exposes Grand Corruption
The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Service (GRA), has yet again exposed the deep-rooted corruption in the Akufo-Addo government, which elements of the government, as well as the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) continue to deny even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
The Herald has sighted a directive from Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti issued to all his “Sector Commanders”, ordering them to do business with only three insurance companies, including one owned by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, his wife, Angela Ofori-Atta and their family friend, Kelly Gadzekpo, with respect to bonds to be undertaken by importers.
The GRA boss’ orders captured in a September 10, 2018 memo to his Commanders, directed the subordinates to do business with only Enterprise Insurance Company Limited, Star Assurance Company Limited and State Insurance Company Limited.
It said “Following a directive from the Minister of Finance and subsequent approval of same by Commissioner-General, you are requested to take the necessary steps to deal with only these three Companies in relation to Bonds to be undertaken by importers”.
The document signed by Commissioner SSD, Fred Charles Anson, copied to Commissioner in charge of Customs, said it settled on the above mentioned companies because, the GRA wants to work with “robust, reputable and credible insurance companies in order to guarantee the payment of taxes and duties due the state”.
Interestingly, Enterprise Insurance Company Limited, which was first on the list belongs to Mr Ofori-Atta, his wife and his lifelong friend, Kelly Gadzekpo, who is also the board chairman of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and also a member of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Board.
With the clear conflict of interest exposed by the content of the letter, which specifically mentioned the Finance Minister, the GRA boss in a Usain Bolt-like fashion, issued another directive withdrawing his earlier instructions to the “Sector Commanders”, obviously to avoid a public backlash.
Per the September 10, 2018 Memo, the directive was to take effect Monday September 17, 2018, however, in an unexpected twist, another memo surfaced, on the day announcing indefinitely the suspension of the directive.
The second memo was also signed by Mr Anson captioned “Withdrawal of directive on the management bonds in customs operations” said the sudden retreat was to allow the Commissioner-General enough time to now deliberate on the subject.
It said “I wish to inform you that, on the instructions of the Commissioner-General, their earlier memo dated 10th September, 2018 on the above mentioned subject is withdrawn and the directive suspended. This is to allow Commissioner-General, ample time for further discussion on the issue. You are hereby requested to revert to the original mode of managing bonds in your operations until further notice”.
Both memos, have found their way on social media, and it has been argued that the first memo was withdrawn because of the criticisms and backlash from the public.
The Herald, is reliably informed that most insurance companies are outraged over the family and friends game being played by the Finance Minister and the Akufo-Addo government in the insurance industry.
Over last one year, this paper has been inundated with lots calls from insurance companies and state institutions that there has is a silent directive on them to deal only with Enterprise Insurance.
In this regard, Mr Ofori-Atta’s Enterprise Insurance Company Limited, has been accused of snatching all juicy insurance policies by its competitors, including the reliable State Insurance Company (SIC).
The companies are unhappy with the Finance Minister, because they say his actions are greatly hurting their operations and also rending them jobless.
Some complains have gone all the way to the Flagstaff House on the matter, but President Akufo-Addo is yet to call his Finance Minister who is also his cousin to order.
This is not the first time, Mr Ofori-Atta is being accused of scheming to favour his family and friends.
Last year, he was accused by the Minority in Parliament after he reportedly issued over 90 percent of Ghana’s bond to a company linked to his friend. The issue went as far as to the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the court.
The Herald findings are that, Star Assurance Company Limited is owned by Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, while State Insurance Company (SIC) is state-owned.
Interestingly, Ken Ofori-Atta, has appointed his sister in-law, Ms. Eno Ofori-Atta, as the acting Deputy Managing Director of SIC Financial Services.