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Opinions of Friday, 3 March 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

How NDC government allegedly robbed Ghanaians ...

By: Adofo Rockson

I had been waiting patiently for the fullest details before putting out this publication but the more I wait, the longer it is taking for the required information to reach me. I have therefore decided enough is enough; I cannot wait any further but to disclose the little information I have in case it will help put a stop to further acts of perpetration of that daylight robbery inflicted on Ghanaians by the NDC government and party.

A secondary school mate of mine that I have not seen since we left Kumawu Tweneboa Secondary School in 1976, although we have been talking over the phone since the last five to six years, revealed this shocking information to me which I need to bring it in the public domain. It may not be any secret since some people might be aware of it.

According to this schoolmate (name withheld for personal reasons), his own brother in-law was a member of the NDC and an importer frequenting abroad to purchase various goods to export to Ghana. He was an NDC cardholder. According to this importer as he made it known to his brother-in-law who was my school and form mate, all the NDC importers enjoyed a special concession.

What was that concession, all curious people may want to know? They had to pay a certain percentage of the duty to incur into a special bank account for the NDC party, then pay a small duty on the imported goods and off they go with their goods. In effect, they paid just a small fraction of the actual duty due because of their affiliation to the NDC party.

A small mathematical expression will better help explain the situation to many a public reader. Assuming the imported goods will normally attract a duty payment of say GHC15,000, the NDC importer will pay say GHC3,000 into that NDC’s special bank accounts and then pay say GHC1,000 for official duty to clear his/her goods. This was the degree of official theft, although secretly, sanctioned by the NDC for assisting their member-importers and to continually accumulate money for their party for purposes only best known to them.

I had been waiting on my friend to obtain me the name of the bank and the bank account number into which such dubious transactions were made but the information is not forthcoming as quickly as I expect it. His brother-in-law keeps postponing when he is next coming to the United Kingdom to purchase goods for export to Ghana probably for the fear of paying the full duty unlike the negligible amounts he was paying when NDC was in power.

If the new government has any means of checking to ascertain the malpractices indulged in by the NDC which probably yielded them that immense amount of money they were distributing to people to influence them to vote for NDC and President “Ede bii keke Onaapo” John Dramani Mahama, why not do it following the clue hereby disclosed?

While the NDC importers were clearing their imported goods from the ports for almost nothing, the other non NDC importers were being charged hefty sums of money which often led to the confiscation of their goods, especially cars, because they could not afford the duty charges. Such impounded cars were auctioned next to nothing to NDC sympathisers and gurus.

I pray the NPP government does not engage in same deplorable thievery as was orchestrated by the NDC at the nation’s ports.

Additionally, the following was told to me by a Ghanaian work colleague who used to work at both Takoradi and Tema harbours about 20 to 25 years ago. I had even written about it many years ago but I shall reiterate it here today. He said, in those days, some of the custom officers would over-value the duty to be paid by an importer. After the importer had paid and cleared their goods, the custom officer(s) would fill forms to apply for refund for having paid in excess of the right amount of import duty. They would do it as though the importer him or herself is requesting for the refund. They would use the importer’s name and all his/her details as they have already to fill out the forms for the refund. They arranged with some banks to open accounts in the importer’s name. Once the refund was made, they would share it among themselves with the colluding bank staff getting their share.

From official records, they have refunded the excess duty payment to the importer in question but without his or her knowledge. The dishonest custom officers and the colluding bank staff would be the beneficiaries of the money so refunded.

In case any such refunds had happened recently under the NDC government, please publish all the names of those to whom such refunds were supposed to have been made to get them come out to confirm whether or not they did receive such refunds.

This will help stop dodgy custom officers from condoning and conniving to rip off innocent importers to the detriment of the citizenry.

We have to expose all acts of corruption wherever they rear their ugly head. Without exposing them and then sealing up all such loopholes, His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo and his government will struggle to fulfil most of their electioneering promises.

Stay tuned for further updates in case the information I am craving for become available.

Rockson Adofo