The former Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr Kwame Owusu, who used close to GHS1 million to renovate and expand a two-bedroom colonial-style property into a modern five-bedroom edifice with 13 air-conditioners, has asked the founding president of Imani Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, to apologise to him for certain disparaging remarks the think-tanker made against him.
Mr Owusu said he found it insulting and offensive for Mr Cudjoe to have disparaged him on social media shortly after the announcement that he (Mr Owusu) has been appointed by President Nana Akufo-Addo as the new Board Chair of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Mr Cudjoe posted on his Facebook wall on 11 July 2019 that: “Ghana Revenue Authority just received a big boost in the appointment of a really good-spending man as board chair. He will raise more revenue from taxing every one especially sellers of air conditioners. I am comforted that he will at least direct GRA’s revenue expansion program. We need to support him with more air conditioners to enable him to achieve all our revenue targets. If he fails eh…we will simply lock him up in the office with 39 air conditioners until he can’t move and speak his affected American accent”.
Mr Owusu, who expressed his utmost disgust at the comments of Mr Cudjoe, said on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme that he “wants Franklin to apologise to the good people of Ghana because if we are going to respect him, we must know whether he is a serious person or he uses sarcasm to criticise government and government officials”.
He told the host, Paul Adom-Otchere, that: “I think that the good people of Ghana including myself deserve an apology from the same Imani [President] because we don’t know when to take him seriously”.
He continued: “I thought the press would have attacked him to resign because it is such a bad taste of a man of that stature to be able to go on and make a comment, especially talking about my ‘affected American accent’; that is much more an insult”.
Mr Owusu said it would have been acceptable if the comments had been made by a known comedian or a young girl in the media craving for fame “but for somebody of such a repute, Imani Ghana, a think tank, after seven hours, he (Mr Cudjoe) then put it out that it is sarcastic. So, at what point will Ghanaians know [that] a man who happens to be a think-tanker president is either joking or being sarcastic or being real”.
According to Mr Owusu, before he took office, the GMA in 2016, made GHS68 million in revenue with an expenditure of about GHS72 million.
However, “When I came, within nine months I moved the revenue to GHS 99.7 million with expenses of GHS56 million [in 2017]”.
For him, he is not a spending-man “but a man who takes revenue targets upward and cuts expenses”, as, he indicated that in 2018, “I moved the revenue to GHS 141 million”.