A Deputy Minister designate for Local Government and Rural Development, Osei Bonsu Amoah, has rejected claims of receiving GH¢75,000 bribe from the businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who is at the center of the GH¢51 million judgement debt saga.
According to him, the police and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) investigated the matter when the allegations came to light and no truth was established.
Mr Amoah, who was a Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports in the erstwhile Kufuor administration when Woyome was involved in a stadium construction contract in 2008, denied ever being indicted over allegations of bribery.
Answering a question when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament today, February 21, 2023, Mr Amoah equally denied the involvement of the Kufuor administration in any underhand dealings in the contract.
“I have never collected GH¢75,000 from Woyome and never in my life have I seen that amount of money.”Osei Bonsu Amoah
Commenting on his plans of reviving recreational parks in the country such as the Aburi Botanical Gardens, Mr Amoah stressed the need for public-private partnerships to revive the parks. He stated that there was a programme in place to revive recreational parks across the country and indicated that the sector minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, had been involved in the process and pledged his support of it.
Subsequently, the Minister of State-designate for the Local Government Ministry lauded the Greater Accra regional minister, Henry Quartey, over the demolition of some buildings sighted close to the Sakumono Ramsar site.
He indicated that there are reports as to how the lands at the Ramsar site have been misused, with some witnessing encroachment and others without any authority overseeing it. He explained that some persons are also using the lands how they deem fit.
“Ramsar site has been in the news for quite some time, and I will commend the Greater Accra regional Minister [Henry Quartey] for the efforts he’s making in ensuring that Ramsar site is kept the way it is supposed to be kept. Indeed, as I said, the Greater Accra Regional Minister must be commended for all the efforts he’s made”.Osei Bonsu Amoah
GRA’s collection of property tax
The legislator for Akuapim South expressed hope that the Regional Minister will continue to work hard to prevent any untoward activity at the Ramsar site.
“If there are other reports which should indict any chief executive, I’m sure the Minister’s instructions will be carried out to prevent any untoward activity at the Ramsar site.”Osei Bonsu Amoah
Meanwhile, Mr Amoah has revealed that the rationale of government’s move to partner with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to collect property tax is in the right direction.
In order to assure cost recovery by the government in providing the infrastructure for the collection of the property rate, it was indicated that a share ratio would be decided upon with the Assemblies.
Reacting to this, the Akuapem South MP insisted that the collaboration with the GRA bodes well for broadening the tax net.
“The Ministry of Finance has been complaining for some time now that the amount of revenue they expect from property rates administration is a bit disappointing. The assemblies have also not been able to meet the required levels because they have their own challenges, the mode of collection, the billing systems, and enforcement arrangements.
“We collect peanuts and at times, for years, no assessments are made. So, this whole arrangement with GRA brings in a certain amount of reform and dynamism, so we reap so much from property rate. This is the best way to go.”Osei Bonsu Amoah
Mr Amoah highlighted that some assemblies have expressed challenges in the implementation of the tax. To this, he called for the prosecution of persons who fail to comply.
“The law has made those provisions and we have let people know this that is why the system has been modernized.”Osei Bonsu Amoah