Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has taken a swipe at the President of the National House Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, over his comment on the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
Togbe Afede is reported to have questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision to set up an offshore company incorporated in a tax haven of Jersey, UK.
Togbe Afede reportedly criticised the government for not incorporating it in Ghana and denied reports that he has endorsed the deal.
“Tax havens typically serve two purposes, helping you to avoid tax or ensure secrecy. I don’t see why a national transaction should be shrouded in secrecy in the first place. And if we are trying to avoid tax or minimise tax, who are we denying tax payments to?” the report quoted the Asogli Paramount chief.
“If it is incorporated in Ghana, the tax will accrue to Ghana, which will be paid by this company, that is owned, supposedly, majority by Ghana; so I do not see why we should do an investment but more important for me is the attempt to use my name and the National House of Chiefs to grant legitimacy to this transaction,” Togbe Afede said.
Speaking to Kwame Sefa Kayi of Peace FM on Friday, September 4, 2020, Ofori-Atta said Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State could have made a request for further and detailed information on the deal instead of making a ‘disingenuous’ statement.
The Finance Minister asserted that Togbe Afede was involved in the attempt by the NDC government to implement the Gold Royalties Company deal in 2011.
He said, instead of criticising the deal, Togbe Afede could have recommended to government certain aspects of the deal that ought to be altered.
“For someone who should know much better to say this, I think it’s a period of blot on wisdom as you look at what is good for the republic. I know Togbe Afede was at the heart of the NDC attempt to do this in 2010 and they got it wrong. Nothing could be so wrong in what we are doing.
“What we are doing might be new but it is nothing Togbe can’t understand so you would expect that he will recommend some tweaking but to categorically say that it is bad then it’s a level of disingenuity; that is difficult,” he stressed.