Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament

The Majority caucus in Parliament has exposed what it described as the hypocrisy of members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on tax waivers in the country.

It pointed out that even though the NDC waived taxes in over $1 billion to companies, it is now opposing about $335 million tax exemptions for 42 companies operating under One District, One Factory (1D1F), which will potentially have a negative impact on the economy.

Addressing journalists on the issue on Thursday, Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin said it was hypocritical for NDC to grant tax waivers to companies including foreign ones and refused to allow tax exemptions for indigenous Ghanaian companies.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin, defended the government’s intention to grant the tax exemptions to the 1D1F firms by pointing out that the previous administration led by John Dramani Mahama approved an incredibly huge tax waiver for a single company in 2016.

According to him, the Mahama administration granted a colossal tax waiver of $982 million to Meridian Port Services (MPS), which was later reduced to $832 million due to the intervention of the then minority NPP members on the Finance Committee of Parliament.

Other tax waivers

Mr. Afenyo-Markin who is also the MP for Effutu in the Central Region pointed out that some tax waivers were also granted by then President Mahama without parliamentary approval but only through “executive authoristion.”

For instance, on 29th April, 2015, President Mahama approved tax waivers to 10 companies including that of his younger brother, which he described as “strategic investors.”

The companies were Messrs. Dzata Cement Limited, owned by Ibrahim Mahama, younger brother of President Mahama; Messrs. Ghacem Limited, Messrs. Dream Reality Limited, Messrs. Garden City Mall Limited, Messrs. Boston Investment Limited and Shoprite Ghana Pty Limited.

The rest were Messrs. Ciments De L’Afrique Ghana Limited, Messrs. Vincien Sugar Refinery Ghana Limited, Messrs. Ecobank Ghana Limited and Messrs. Dream Reality Limited.

“Dzata Cement was a company that benefitted from this unconstitutional and illegal tax incentives, but we all know that by the imperative of the [1992] Constitution, it is only Parliament that can impose tax or waive taxation but some actions of the executive under certain rule of necessity, Dzata Cement was granted a tax waiver, and we did not complain because we were told that Dzata Cement was a strategic investor,” Mr. Afenyo-Markin recounted.

Again, on 7th January, 2016, President Mahama granted tax waivers to six companies in respect of “exemptions on import duties, VAT for capital goods and equipment imported specifically in the projects and VAT on local purchases of building and construction materials specifically imported on behalf of the companies.”

The beneficiary companies were Messrs. Wilmar Africa Limited, Messrs. West Hills Mall Limited, Messrs. Tang Palace Hotel Limited, Messrs. Mabani Seven Company and Others, Messrs. Sunon Asogli Power Limited (Phase II) and Messrs. Quantum Power Ghana Gas Limited. 

10-Year Tax exemption for MPS 

Mr. Afenyo-Markin pointed out that Meridian Port Services was exempted from corporate income tax for 10 years and received a reduced corporate tax rate for an additional five years.

Additionally, the company enjoyed tax benefits on dividends to shareholders for two decades.

NPP’s intervention

When the minority NPP at the time complained that government was going to lose massive revenue with the huge tax exemption to MPS, Mr. Fifi Kwetey, the then Minister of Transport whose Ministry spearheaded the motion in Parliament justified the need for the tax exemptions.

“It is only a person who is not looking at the future of a country who is constantly obsessed with revenue now. So, if we are making some of these sacrifices to forsake revenue today, in order to attain a situation where our ports would be the best in the whole of the sub-region, make us competitive across the sub-region and so on, that is the way to go,” Fifi Kwetey stated in defence of the tax waiver.

Consequently, Mr. Afenyo-Markin has called for similar benefits to be extended to indigenous businesses and urged Parliament to address the issue.

The Leader of Government Business explained that the tax waivers play a critical role in stimulating economic growth and attracting investments to the country.


In 2021, the Ministry of Finance initiated processes to secure approximately $335,072,712.13 in tax exemptions for 42 companies under the One District One Factory initiative.

Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited emerged with the highest tax exemption figure of $164,633,012.00.

The debate over tax waivers has continued to spark discussions within Parliament as both sides present their arguments regarding the impact and necessity of these incentives for businesses operating under government policies.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin emphasised the need for Parliamentary oversight to prevent any abuse of executive power in such matters.

He also urged the Minority Caucus to support the current government’s efforts to industrialise the economy.