At a time he has compelled Ghanaians to pay more taxes to his government, President Akufo-Addo has offered a tax exemption of $23,983,033.43 to a company called Platinum Properties Limited (PPL) to put up a hotel facility in Accra.
PPL is a Special Purpose Vehicle owned and controlled by Inter-Afrique Holding Limited(IAHL) set up to put up the hotel facility called the Pullman Accra Airport City Hotel.
IAHL, on the other hand, is owned by Dr. Kwame Nyantakyie-Owusu, one of President Akufo-Addo’s in-laws. Kwame Nyantakyi-Owusu is married to Regina, the younger sister of Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the President’s wife.
At an exchange rate $1: GH¢5.7, this means Kwame Nyantakyi-Owusu will not be paying an amount of GH¢ 136,703, 290.55 as tax to the state following the exemption given him by his in-law.
A letter from the President dated November 13, 2019, signed on his behalf by his Executive Secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo, who is his cousin, to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) granting the tax exemption reads;
“Reference is made to your correspondence numbered LE09/37P/01 dated 8th November, 2019, seeking approval for Platinum Properties Limited to be granted strategic Investor status to enjoy exemptions from various taxes in relation to the development of the Pullman Accra Hotel and Serviced Apartments Project in Airport City, Accra (the “Project”).
I am pleased to inform you that pursuant to section 26 (4) of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, 2013 (Act 865) and on the recommendation of the Board of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the President of the Republic has granted approval for the following:
1. Exemptions from VAT on imported materials for the construction phase of the Project; 2. Exemptions from duties on imported materials for the construction phase of the Project; and 3. Exemptions from VAT on local purchases of building and construction materials specific to the Project.
In light of Article 174 (2) of the Constitution, the Minister for Finance is, by a copy of this letter, hereby directed to obtain the requisite approval of Parliament, to give effect to paragraph two (2) above.
Please accept the President’s best wishes.”
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Arthur, who is also a cousin of the President has sent a memorandum to parliament for parliamentary approval to be given for the tax exemption. The memorandum, a copy of which this paper has, also reads
“Parliament is respectfully invited to consider and approve the waiver of tax liability amounting to Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$23,983,033.43 in favour of Platinum Properties Limited (Strategic Investor, under section 26 (4) of the GIPC ACT 2013, ACT 865) on materials, plant, machinery and equipment. The waiver covers import Duties, Import VAT, Import NHIL, Import GETFUND, Domestic VAT, NHIL and GETFUND.
Executive approval was granted to Platinum Properties Limited as a Strategic Investor, pursuant to section 26 (4) of the GIPC Act 2013. (Act 865) on the recommendation of the Board of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) for tax exemption on the following:
i. Exemption from the VAT on import of materials for the construction of the Pullman City Hotel project. ii. Exemption from the duties and on imported materials. iii. Exemption from VAT on local purchases of building and construction materials.
In line with Article 174 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the waiver for tax exemption is hereby submitted for the consideration and approval of Parliament.”
According to the memorandum, The Pullman Accra Airport City Hotel & Serviced Apartments is a dual-hospitality project, positioned to become Ghana’s largest and most distinguished hotel facility.
It is situated at Plot 15, Airport City, which houses one of Ghana’s most iconic real estate developments such as Marina Mall, Marriott Hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel, SSNIT Emporium, Ibis Styles Hotel, Manet Towers 1, 2 & 3, Silver Star Tower and Stanbic Heights, with other notable developments underway.
The memorandum states that the Project is being promoted by Platinum Properties Limited (“PPL”), a SPV owned and controlled by Inter-Afrique Holdings Limited (“IAH”) and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (“GIIF”).