Former Board Chairman for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei, has made a shocking revelation on how a company belonging to staff of the Jubilee House embezzled funds meant for the central government.
The distasteful incident occurred during the period when Professor Adei was Chair of the GRA Board. In September 2019, Professor Adei was appointed Board Chair and was subsequently removed in October 2020.
In an interview on Accra based Asaase Radio, Professor Adei recounted when he had to address the embezzlement of GHS100 million tax to have been paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority.
He noted that the company (whose name it withheld) was to pay collected taxes worth 100 million (Ghana cedis) to the GRA, however, failed to do so. According to him, he only found out during the point of collection by some GRA staff.
“When I was Chairman of GRA, one of our factories had collected all the withholding tax and chopped all. But withholding tax has nothing to do with you. In other words, you are only being an agent of GRA to collect it and pay it, they have chopped it and accumulated over 100 million (ghana cedis).
As a result, the GRA staff locked the company, ceasing it from operating. The action, he said did not sit well with the owner of the company, who then phoned, demanding that his facility be reopened.
“The boys go and bar it and say if you don’t pay, we won’t allow the factory to be opened. I got a call from Jubilee House. Your boys have gone to lock my factory, ask them to go and open it,” he narrated.
In response, Prof Adei stated: “I’m not going to open it.” According to the former GRA Board Chair, to resolve the matter, he directed that a plan for payment, which stipulates the period in which the tax squandered be paid, be drawn.
It was only after this that the company was reopened for work to resume.
“I said that the Managing Director must negotiate with them as any other manufacturing establishment about how they are going to pay it, put a deposit down and then they will open it. And that is what they did.”
“Unfortunately, the boys were so generous they accepted only one million and opened it,” he added.
Prof Adei confirmed that his brief duration as Board Chair stemmed such complexities faced.
“Of course that’s why I lasted for only 15 months,” he confirmed.