By Cecil Mensah
The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kasapreko Company Limited (KCL), the leading manufacturer of alcoholic and non –alcoholic beverages in the country, Dr Kwabena Adjei, has lamented about the situation , where officers of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), portray local businessmen as a bunch of crooks, who invade tax , thereby depriving government of the needed revenue for infrastructural development.
“I will not cheat to enhance my business at the expense of the state, I believed there are genuine businessmen in this country who genuine and gets genuine money, “Dr Adjei said, complaining about how CEPS officials frustrate businessmen, when they import machinery into the country to expand their businesses.
He said, the call for a Commissioner’s tax, has been the bane of worries for genuine businessmen who are willing to expand their business, to meet global competition in manufacturing.
He said, this action on the part of CEPS officers, create the situation as if there are no honest businessmen in the country.
He expressed this worries, when the Minister for Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central in the Northern Region, Alhaji Haruna Iddrissu, paid a working visit to familiarize himself with the activities of the company in Accra.
He explained that it becomes so worrying, when manufacturers import machinery and present the components to revenues collectors and the manufacturers are told in the face, they have to wait for Commissioner’s Value Tax before they can clear their goods from the ports.
On upon this premise, he called for government’s support to grow local manufacturing companies as well as the economy.
Telling the Minister about the success story of the company, he said the company commenced operations in November 1989 in Nungua , where he was the security man at the same time the Chief Labour officer of the growing company, after some experience abroad.
“Today the company with a humble beginning employs one hundred and eighty-four permanent staff and two hundred and sixty contract staff and majority being Higher Diploma (HND) part three holders from the various polytechnics across the country”.
He noted that twenty years down the line, the company has been able to become the only company to have its leading herbal beverages scientifically certified by the Mampong Centre for Plant Medicine in the Eastern Region.
He was quick to add that the company in 2013, contributed over six million Ghana Cedis as Corporate Tax to the economy.
The Minister after touring the thirty million Dollars production line of the company also appealed to the company to up its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) since the Ministry in no time will launch a book on CSR to motivate local manufacturing companies to give back to the society.
He further assure the CEO that, he has taken notice of his discontent about the Commissioner’s tax Value and will forward it to his colleague the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Mr Seth Terkpe in Cabinet.
He said the government is looking forward to facilitate an even stronger bond with private sector players as part of President John Mahama’s initiatives of strengthening the local entrepreneurs by providing stimulus packages for their activities as has been done the 2014 budget for the pharmaceutical industry.