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20.01.2020 Feature Article

Do Citizens Really Care About Their Wasted TAXES?

Do Citizens Really Care About Their Wasted TAXES?
LISTEN JAN 20, 2020

In President Nana Addo’s inaugural Speech he asked us to be Citizens and NOT Spectators but the question I want to ask today is that have we the Citizens become Spectators when it comes to how our TAXES are being Used?

First and foremost what is a TAX?

A tax (from the Latin taxo) is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. Failure to pay, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by LAW.

What this simply means is that Government takes monies from Citizens by force to develop the country and failure to pay will result in you being Punished.

The Big Question is HOW ARE OUR TAXES BEING USED.

It's as if all we care about is how these TAXES are collected but as to how its being used is virtually nobody's headache.

The TRUTH is that we are losing Most of our Taxes to Corruption and nothing seems to be done about it.

On June 4th 1979 Jerry John Rawlings lead a coup which overthrew the sitting government and the reason was that there was so much corruption in the system.

People with more than 2 toilets in their houses were dealt with brutally. We all know what happened so I won't waste your time lamenting on it but the questions is, looking at this country today has that coup had any effect on this country with regards to CORRUPTION?

I believe it has grown worse and if something is NOT done about it we might end up in some real mess.

Now the country is being run as if any party that comes to power comes to seek its personal welfare and leave, whiles the citizens who pay these TAXES continue to suffer and die poor.

The saddest part is that Most of these politicians Campaign with the message of CORRUPTION yet when they get into office the just forget about it.

There have been so many occasions where we have seen our TAXES being misused by these politicians and nothing have been done about it. Even when we arrest culprits do they even refund these TAXES or it just goes down the drain?

The examples are countless and I will just give a few.

Fast forward to President Kufours tenure a Law called Wilfully causing Financial Loss to the State was passed including the introduction of a court called the Fast Track High Court was established to help fight this same CORRUPTION that we've been losing our TAXES to.

In 2001 the then Sports Minister Mallam Issah was charged with the stealing of $46,000 and convicted to 4years imprisonment but the question is DID WE GET THOSE TAX MONIES BACK?

Not to remind families of any pain, In 2003 a former Finance Minister Victor Salomey, Dan Abodakpe and others were sentenced for wilfully causing lose to the state of an amount of $20million and the question again is DID WE GET THOSE TAX MONIES BACK?

In 2014, again in the sports sector The Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, flew $3million cash on a plane to Brazil and came back to cry when he was asked to account for its use.

They were dismissed from that ministry and asked to refund some monies but the question again is DID WE GET THOSE TAX MONIES BACK?

Let me end the examples with the famous WAYOME Scandal.

The NPP actually used the WAYOME Scandal as their main campaign message and won the elections but ask yourself what has happened.

In fact Judgement have been passed and WOYOME have been asked to pay back an amount of Ghc51.2milliom to the state but the question again is DID WE GET THOSE TAX MONIES BACK?

President Nana Addo established an office for a Special Prosecutor Headed by Mr Martin Amidu in addition to the Attorney General office but ask yourself How much of the TAXES lost to CORRUPTION have been collected back by this Special Prosecutor.

One of the Key institutions that is suppose to keep an eye on these Politicians and their CORRUPTION cases is the media but are they playing that watchdog role?

Former Loud Gatekeepers like Kweku Baako, Kwesi Pratt, CJA, AFAG etc have all gone quiet like they dont exist in this country.

The only broadcaster I recently saw and heard trying to keep an eye on these issues was Captain Smart of Multimedia and I must say he did a great job by getting some of the monies Refunded to EOCO but ask yourself HOW MUCH and what update did we get on those Refunds but unfortunately too he has also gone Koda for a while. We just hope he gets Back to it soon.

Now the politicians are the ones left to check themselves and all they are thinking off is how to win power to come and chop some, so you will hear them fight over issues like New and Old election register whiles the citizens whose TAXES will be used in these expenditures look on quietly.

Now because of all these WASTE of TAXPAYERS MONIES, we are unable to take care of developmental issues like building factories to employ citizens, road constructions to save our cars from rampant damages, Healthcare facilities and infrastructure to accommodate our children in schools.

Currently we are in a situation where Most of the BANKS in this country like UT and Capital banks have been shut down and also BIEGE, Construction, uniBank, Sovereign and Royal banks have been consolidate into one Bank.

Let me try and explain how it happened.

These banks took PEOPLES MONIES and gave it out as Loans and also invested into private ventures such as real estate development which takes years to sell so when the people needed their monies they couldn't pay them back.

Government stepped in and gave Ghc1.47billion of TAXPAYERS MONIES to UT and Capital Banks and they Blew that money too so they had no option than to shut them down but the question again is WILL WE GET THESE TAX MONIES BACK?

As at last month government was seeking an approval for Ghc15.6billion of TAXPAYERS MONIES from parliament to put into the consolidated bank so they can sustain and pay those customers whose monies were misused so the question is HOW DO WE GET BACK THESE TAXPAYERS MONIES?

Now if we want these TAX MONIES going down the drain to STOP then we must STOP being SPECTATORS and become CITIZENS.

Let's make sure this Government hold those in charge of these collapsed banks responsible so they pay back every penny that was MISUSED.

We don't want the situation where people are arrested, bailed or jailed but the TAXPAYERS MONIES never returns.

If this cycle of Waste does NOT Stop now then all one has to do is to find ways and means to get closer to the national cake and cut his share for FREE since after all NOTHING will happen to anybody.

We can NEVER build this country in this way.

No wonder with all our resources and taxes we are always in debt and cannot develop this small country called Ghana only for its citizens to continue dying in poverty like beggers.

I believe in President Nana Addo and as Citizens we will continue to put the Right Pressure on him because we know he is capable of standing up to the task since he has already started.

Until then let's all wait and see how it ends.

#GhanaFirst #VhimMoveMent

Enock Agyepong
Enock Agyepong, © 2020

The author has 22 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: EnockAgyepong

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