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MINTP terminates contract with company Bofas for work abandonmentCornerstone revenue regimes must be made more effective – Seth Terkper

The Minister of Public Works (Mintp), Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, has terminated the contract of the company Bofas Sarl, as part of the rehabilitation work on the Babadjou-Bamenda road between the West and the North West region.

The company specializing in road construction is accused of abandoning work and non-compliance with contractual clauses. The decision to pathways with Bofas Sarl is contained in a release made public this week by the Ministry of Public Works.

According to MINTP, the company was expected to complete the road stretch on October 17, 2023. But in July 2023, during the last site visit carried out by Minister Djoumessi, there was a risk of postponement of the delivery date of work on the road.

This is the second deal that the Bofas company is reported to have lost in the space of three months. Last November 2023, its contract for the construction of the 49KM Esse-Soa road was terminated for the same reason with the project valued at about CFA 29 billion.

However, the project to rehabilit
ate the Babadjou-Bamenda axis (nearly 52 km) on the Yaoundé-Enugu corridor is financed by the World Bank to the tune of CFA 110 billion. In its configuration, the Babadjou-Bamenda road axis has four sections: section 1 Babadjou-Matazem (with a distance of 17km), section 2 Matazem and Welcome to Bamenda (18KM), section 3 Bamenda up to Hill station bypass (near of 5 KM) and the last batch consists of the construction of the urban crossing of the city of Bamenda (nearly 12 km). Only the works along the first section of the road have been completed to over 92%.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Mr Seth Terkper, a former Finance Minister has advised the government to focus on making the country’s four major revenue streams effective to produce the needed revenue for economic development and sustainability.

The revenue handles are income tax [personal and corporate], Value Added Tax (VAT), petroleum tax, and import duty.

‘As a developing/lower middle-income country, these are the four core taxes, which are the pillars of our revenue regime, and making them work would be to our gain, and help us avoid going back for external support periodically’ he said.

Mr Terkper said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, February 28, after he delivered a speech at a public dialogue organised by the PFM Tax Africa Network.

The dialogue was on Ghana’s ongoing US$3 billion loan-support programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

‘If you take the whole of the about 15 levies we have, they’re not contributing more than six per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and are distorting the
primary, which hurts businesses, even the more,’ he said.

He urged the government to scrap of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy), and not introduce the 15 per cent VAT on electricity and emission tax, expressing confidence that doing so would engender compliance in existing tax handles.

‘The levies are distortive, and encouraging evasion and avoidance, so let’s clear them and focus on the country’s pillar tax regimes,’ the former Finance Minister said.

He expressed concern, saying: ‘For example, Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) – a digitisation measure that can help us expand the tax base has been there for more than seven years, and we’ve not been able to introduce a domestic IT system for the Ghana Revenue Authority when the plan and World Bank funding was there.’

He also called for pragmatic efforts in having a debt management policy that would discourage the government from borrowing beyond a certain threshold and ensure timely repayment.

On the way forward in the implementation of
the US$3bn loan-support programme, IMF, he said Ghana must be steadfast in policy and reform implementation.

That, the Fund said should include measures that would shore up revenue, and reduce expenditure, to ensure durable restoration of macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.

Source: Ghana News Agency