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Government to withdraw unapproved fees, charges at ports

Government is to withdraw all fees and charges imposed by agencies without parliamentary approval at the ports including the Kotoka International Airport.

The move is part of measures to further reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

The senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, who disclosed this at a grand durbar organised by the chiefs and people of Tema to climax this year’s Kplejoo festival, said the agencies would be directed to go through parliament for legitimate backings before the fees are admitted.

“Under our laws, it is only Parliament that can impose taxes, fees and charges in the country,” he said.

The festival was held on the theme: “60 years of resettlement; an occasion for reviving our unsettled customs and cultural practices”.

Tema unlike other Ga states, has two annual festivals namely, Kplejoo which is celebrated in late March or early April and Homowo in August.

Kplejoo is used to reconcile the people and to also thank God for his mercies.

At the durbar, identifiable youth groups from the town dressed in colourful apparels take turns to sing and dance to the tune of kpele drums.

Mr Osafo Maafo in response to concerns by the elders of Tema over lack of employment for natives, said a committee made up of representatives from the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council, Tema Metropolitan Assembly and the Senior Minister’s office is to be set up to ensure that a quota system of employment was reserved for natives of the area who sacrificed their land for the creation of the biggest industrial city in Africa.

On concerns being raised by a section of the public about the government’s inability to punish officials in the previous regime who misappropriated state funds, he said, investigations were being conducted by the appropriate agencies and those found culpable would be put before courts in due course.

Nii Shipi Armah Somponu, a member of the Tema Traditional Council expressed worry that in spite of sacrificing large chunk of their land for the Tema industrial area, some natives of Tema were turned down whenever they went to seek for employment.

He subsequently requested for a quota of jobs in the industrial area for indigenes and appropriate royalties for the natives.

The Member of Parliament for the Tema East Constituency, Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, said the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation would soon embark on construction of a befitting hospital for Tema New Town.

He added that the alternative route to Tema New Town through Valco and the industrial area would take off this year.

The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Felix Nii Anang-La, said road improvements in the Bankuman area was about 80 per cent complete, adding, major roads in Tema New Town, were going to be provided with street lights.

Nii Adjei Kraku II, the Tema Mantse, commended government for its commitment to ensuring peace and development of the nation.

He urged his subjects to take advantage of policies being roll-out by government to better their lot.
Source: Ghana Web

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