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Seth Tekper Halted Payments To Subah Infosolutions – Finance Ministry   
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The Ministry of Finance has in a statement indicated that in May 2013, the Minister of Finance “directed the Tax Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance and GRA [Ghana Revenue Authority] to halt payments to Subah Infosolutions LTD”.

The Finance Minister, Seth Tekper, is said to have raised concerns about the “efficiency in implementation” of the agreement between Subah InfoSolutions and the GRA, hence the directive to halt further payments.

The statement further indicated that “a team was put together to review the agreement and make recommendations to the Minister about a possible renegotiation of the contract, whose tenure runs until May, 2015. The team has recently submitted its preliminary report to the Minister for study and further action.”

The agreement between Subah InfoSolutions LTD a subsidiary of the JOSPONG Group, and the GRA came to light after a publication in the Chronicle newspaper and a documentary by Metro TV revealed that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), an organization charged with the responsibility of collecting taxes on behalf of the state, paid within three years almost GH¢144 million to Subah Infosolutions LTD, for absolutely no work done. The company was paid on average, GH¢4 million a month.

The GRA contracted Subah Infosolutions LTD. in 2010 to electronically monitor revenue generated by the Telecom Companies, calculate and collect the right taxes from the companies. The contract is worth $100 million per year. But the law allowing the contract was only passed in July 2013 thus the company was paid millions for no work done.

Further investigations by CitiFM on what is now called “Subah/GRA scandal” also revealed payments by Subah Infosolutions LTD. to a tall list of individuals and companies.

The investigations found that the GRA funds were paid into the company’s Stanbic Bank Account number 0140002687401.

Key payments went to institutions such as C.A Nzema Oil, Local Enterprises and skills Development Programme [LESDEP]; China-based ZTE and the Road Safety Management Services. The Chief Executive Officer of Jospong Group and officers of the Ghana Police Service also received payments.

Executive Director of the GII, Mr. Vitus Azeem, commenting on the matter called for drastic steps to be taken to recover the monies and the culprits punished.

According to him, if that is not done, Ghanaians will lose confidence in the system in the wake of the introduction of new taxes and increment in existing taxes.

“These reports will make people lose confidence in the system and begin to wonder why they should even pay taxes. That is why it is important for the government to take immediate action to restore that confidence by identifying the people involved and acting promptly on them,” he said.

On his part, financial analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford advocated for the setting up of a new body outside the remit of the presidency to tackle issues of corruption since the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and other agencies responsible for fighting corruption have failed to do so.

“Outside of the Presidency, we need a body that can actually do this independently or else we will do it in such a way that it will force the presidency to take action,” said Mr. Casely-Hayford.
Source: Today

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