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General News Tue, 16 Jul 2019

GRA Board Chair’s appointment undermines government’s anti-corruption agenda – Kojo Asante

The Director for Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana), Dr. Kojo Asante has said the appointment of the former Managing Director of the Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, as the Board Chairman for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), was based on poor judgment.

The former Managing Director of the Maritime Authority was reported to have renovated his official residence at a cost of one million cedis and furnishing it with eleven air conditioners.

He was also accused of spending over GHC 10,000 to host a lunch meeting for 17 people; an allegation that is under investigation.

The appointment has received backlash from groups such as the Ghana Integrity Initiative as well as the general public.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr. Asante said the appointment of Kwame Owusu defeats government’s purpose of fighting corruption.

“We hear that the person has been rewarded with a board chairmanship of an even more serious institution which is the Ghana Revenue Authority. This is a government that is trying to raise revenue.”

“The last person that you want to out in charge of a revenue authority is a person who is alleged to be wasting public resources. How do you persuade citizens to pay their tax with that kind of symbolism so I think it is just a very poor judgement for whoever nominated this person. I really think that, that decision should be rescinded because it sends a really bad message to all of us about the anti-corruption agenda that government is trying to pursue.”

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has also asked President Nana Akufo-Addo to without delay revoke the appointment of Mr. Kwame Owusu.

According to the civil society group, the appointment of the ex-Maritime Authority boss is in bad taste given the accusations of financial misappropriation levelled against him and the subsequent public outcry as the fight against corruption is concerned.

“GII is calling on the President, to revoke the appointment of Mr. Kwame Owusu following the intense public outcry in the pending investigations into allegations of abuse of office and conflict of interest involving Mr. Owusu. The appointment has evoked disappointment among the general public particularly because of the events preceding his exit from his previous job. The raging debates are focused on the integrity of Mr. Owusu and its implication to the public perception of the new institution he has been appointed to,” the initiative said in a statement.

Source: citinewsroom.com
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