Journalists tasked to expose tax evaders

The media has been urged to increase public awareness and expose tax evasion in the country by constantly reporting on such issues.

This would ensure that issues of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) are properly appreciated and understood by the ordinary Ghanaians.

This call was made by the Head of Organised Crime and Member of the Illicit Financial Flows Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Panning, Mr Abdulai Bashiru Dapilah, in Accra yesterday.

The one-day public forum sought to identify and discuss the role of the media in the fight against IIFs in Ghana.

IFFs refers to money illegally earned, transferred, or used that crosses borders.

Mr Dapilah said “the media should frame issues in a simplified and digestible format, raise popular narratives, help in putting issues on the government agenda thereby enabling citizens to better appreciate these issues.”

On the way forward, he explained that there was the need for the media to acquire the necessary information and training on how to interpret data associated with IFFs and training on how to report on IFFs.

“To perform these functions effectively and efficiently on issues of IFFs, the media should have a profound understanding of IFFs, their components and mechanisms, the politics, and narratives around IFFs and the various strategies to stem them,” he explained.

He revealed that gold export and the fishing sector were the major areas used by persons for IFFs in the country, hence the need for the authorities to pay critical attention to those areas.

He underscored the need for a holistic approach to tackle IFFs in the country and the media “was an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle in holding to account the powerful including governments, corporates, and the wealthy on curbing IFFs.”

The Chairman of the civil society platform on oil and gas, Dr Steve Manteaw said there was a need for public accountability institutions such as the Economic and Organised Crime Office, Criminal Investigations Department to act upon reports provided by accountability institutions.

He explained that these institutions were not proactive in the discharge of their duties due to challenges such as funding and lack of enough personnel.

On measuring government’s efforts in fighting IFFs in the country, he said the media needed to critically examine the budgetary allocations of financial accountability institutions.

“We need journalists to look at the budgetary allocations to these institutions which have these responsibilities and once we know the resources have been made available for their operations, we can hold them responsible,” he explained.  

He charged the government to provide the organisations responsible for tackling IFFs in the country with the appropriate funding to deliver their mandate to the latter.  


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