Parliament on Thursday requested the Finance Ministry to provide all relevant documentation on the business agreement between Subah Infosolutions Limited and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), to facilitate a better appreciation of the deal by the House.
According to the Finance Committee of Parliament, the House was not privy to contentious transaction, and had thus requested for further particulars to critically peruse that business.
Ranking Member of the Committee, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, who informed the House of the move during a motion to approve an amount of GHc530,444,425 for the services of the GRA for the 2014 fiscal year, said the Finance Minister, Mr Seth Terkper had agreed to make available to the committee all documents relating to the deal.
“Mr. Speaker, the Finance Minister has assured us that at the appropriate time, he would furnish us with the details of the Subah and GRA issue,” he said.
The GRA in 2010 contracted the IT firm Subah Infosolutions Limited, a subsidiary of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, to provide telecommunication traffic monitoring services for the Tax Agency for the purpose of calculating the Communications Service Tax to be exacted from the Telcos.
Subah was allegedly paid GHc144 million, a figure refuted by the head of the GRA George Blankson, who said the IT firm received only GHc 75 million for two years of work.
The development angered civil society organizations, a section of the public and opposition political parties, who said the transaction smirked of corruption, and demanded that heads rolled for the nuances of the deal.
Dr Akoto Osei observed that since the 2014 budget allocation to the GRA has been increased significantly by almost GHc100 million, there was no justification for the tax bureau to offset part of its mandate to an external body.
He said the budgetary allocation was enough to ensure effective and efficient services from the GRA.
The House also approved budget estimates of three other public institutions for the 2014 financial year. The Ministry of Finance was approved an amount of GHc224,246,020, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources GHc279,656,034 and the Public Services Commission, the sum of GHc3,483,805.
Brong-Ahafo makes strides in health delivery – Regional Minister
The health delivery system in the Brong-Ahafo Region has improved significantly, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, the Regional Minister said on Thursday in Sunyani.
He said, particularly under the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction in Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) Project, Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the Region had established four residential accommodation facilities for health personnel, as well as five Health Centres, and 49 Community Health Planning Services (CHIPS) Compounds.
Mr Aidoo who was addressing the end of year general meeting of the Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, added that 28 Health Centres, CHIPS Compounds and residential accommodation facilities were also at various stages of completion in the region.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister announced that a gynecological theatre had been constructed at the Wenchi Methodist Hospital, whilst 136 persons had been sponsored by the MDAs to pursue various courses with relevance to maternal mortality reduction in the region.
Mr Aidoo, however, expressed regret that despite improvements being made in the health delivery system, protracted chieftaincy disputes were drawing the general socio-economic progress of the region backwards.
He noted that various chieftaincy disputes had left in their wake, several Traditional Councils without substantive Paramount Chiefs, and therefore, appealed to the Regional House of Chiefs, the respective Traditional Councils and their kingmakers, to move the various processes forward towards the early resolution of those disputes.
Pemampem Yaw Kagbrese the Fifth, Paramount Chief of the Yeji Traditional Area and President of the House, said strenuous efforts were being made to settle the numerous chieftaincy cases pending before the Judicial Committee of the House.
Pemampem Kagbrese, however, bemoaned that the Region had in the past few years been plagued with protracted chieftaincy disputes that had become a threat not only to the regional or national security, but also sought to undermine the integrity and authority of the Chieftaincy institution which did not augur well for its development and sustenance, he added.
He, nevertheless, disclosed that a total of 12 petitions and appeals out of about 53 had already been disposed of by the Judicial Committee within the last few months, citing Berekum, Wenchi, Subriso, Banda Boase, Konkoma Queen mother and Nkoranza Benkum Petitions as some of them.
The Paramount Chief of Yeji said, regrettably, within the same period, the number of petitions and appeals filed again at the Judicial Committee was almost equal to the number of the disposed cases, and therefore lamented that the canker had become a worsening situation for the House.
Nana Akom Agyei Bohyen the third, Paramount Chief of Akroso Traditional Area, was admitted into the House as a member after swearing the oath of membership administered by the President of the House on behalf of the entire membership.
Nana Bohyen also swore the Judicial oath and the Oath of Secrecy to the House, which was administered by Justice Amos Larweh Boitey, a High Court Judge in Sunyani.
Politically and Administratively, Akroso is located in the Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region but traditionally and chieftaincy-wise, it is part of the Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs.