Time to pay correct taxes - Akufo-Addo tells multinationals engaged in capital flight

Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 21st-may-2018 Time:  2:41:46 pm

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed a determination to stop multinational companies from illicit financial outflows which robs the government of much-need revenue for development.

"It is time to pay correct taxes", the president said at the 3rd Ghana CEO Summit in Accra and singled out companies in mines, oil and telecommunication sectors for engaging in capital flight.

This illegal transfers of funds are done mainly through fraudulent invoicing of imports and exports, in a bid to avoid taxes and hide large sums.

A New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) document put the annual capital flight estimates for Nigeria and Ghana combined, between $46.26 and $52.44 billion while the total of foreign direct investment (FDI) in both countries for 2014 was $30 billion.

President Akufo-Addo decried this to have gone on for "far too long" and signalled a fresh push to clamp down on capital flight.

"I am a firm believer in honest profit but I will not condone illicit financial flows", he declared.

The government is in need of huge revenue to implement an ambitious development plan contained in its 2016 manifesto.

The government has set a 2018 revenue target of ¢39bn after raising ¢32bn out of its 2017 target of ¢34bn.

A new mantra of Ghana beyond aid has made the need to raise domestic resources for development even more crucial.

"We must deepen the payment of taxes and broaden the tax net to include the informal sector", he said explaining the same must apply to "big players" who hurt the economy by running away with undeclared incomes.

The President whose government is keen to move the economy from taxation to production nonetheless stressed the need to devise "comprehensive", "intensive" and "effective" ways of taxation and tax-collection.

The president expressed the government's desire to see private business flourish and noted this is key for solving Ghana's biggest socio-economic challenge - jobs.

"Ghana will be in much better place when we have lots of wealthy people".

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