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16.05.2007 Boxing

Ike Quartey Unhappy

Ike Quartey Unhappy

Former WBA welterweight Champion, Ike “Bazooka” Quartey, is unhappy about the government's refusal to grant him tax exemption on imported building materials meant for his Gbawe hospital complex.

At an emotionally-charged presss conference at his hospital site, Ike, flanked by his site foreman, Kwesi Bortsie, and the supervisor, Edward Afful, said he was frustrated at his failure to clear the five containers from the port.

But a letter signed by Mr R. K. Poku Kyei, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, on May 9, sighted by the Daily Graphic in response to a request made by Ike, explained that building materials did not fall under the tax exemption law.

The boxer, however, said five years ago when the project began he was compelled to pay a total of ¢820 million on the hospital equipment, even though the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance at the time had agreed that the equipment qualifed for tax exemption.

He contends that since he was denied the exemption on the goods that merited the exemption five years ago, the authorities should compensate him by using the ¢820 million to offset some of the bills on his 18 containers of building materials.

He said it was sad that after years of projecting the image of Ghana on the international boxing arena, he could be treated this way.

Story by Daniel Kenu