It Would Take A Miracle For Akufo-Addo’s Government To Meet E-Levy Aim – Okudzeto Ablakwa

It Would Take A Miracle For Akufo-Addo’s Government To Meet E-Levy Aim – Okudzeto Ablakwa

If the proposed E-Levy is implemented, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, believes it will take a miracle for the government to accomplish its aim.

According to him, the government’s prediction would be tough to achieve.

He based his assessment on data from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, which he claimed he was studying.

He is proposing that the levy may be collected without the involvement of a third party.

“Ghana does not require another third-party monster in a GHS242 million sweetheart deal.” Even if we are forced to join the government for the purpose of analysis, how did the government arrive at the value given in the 2022 budget? Why invest so much money (US$40 million) in an unproven and unjustified venture when you can’t even be sure how much money will be made, as empirical evidence suggests? Why not a percentage of collections instead of a fixed amount, especially when the danger of missing your revenue target is so high?”

 

Read his full opinion below

I am currently reviewing very insightful data from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications which raises significant doubt about government’s projection to raise GHS6.9billion from the obnoxious E-Levy. Other well informed analysis from credible CSOs equally impeach government’s rather pie in the sky target. From all indications, it appears it will be a miracle, perhaps the 8th wonder, for government to meet half of its set target.

Lessons from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya give more currency to these cautious empirical conclusions.

This is the reason a prudent and efficient government will rely on available revenue assurance systems to monitor and track the e-levy collections, that is, in the most unlikely event that the new tax handle is approved by Parliament.

The Ghanaian taxpayer has in recent years been called upon to invest billions of Ghana Cedis on multiple revenue assurance systems and financial inclusion platforms not limited to the GRA (which must include the much touted McKinsey agreement), BoG’s GhIPPS, Ghana.GOV, and the ever controversial KelniGVG revenue assurance deal.

Ghana certainly does not need another third party monster in a sweetheart deal valued at GHS242million. Even if we are compelled to come along with government just for the sake of analysis — how did government come by this value as allocated in the 2022 budget? Why commit so much (US$40million) to this opaque and unwarranted enterprise when you aren’t even assured of exactly how much would be generated, as empirical assessments indicate? Why a fixed amount instead of a percentage of collections, particularly when the risk of missing your revenue target is so great?

It is also interesting to note that whereas this shadowy company is expected to be paid some 4% of total collections, the international best practice in transactions of this nature averages 1%. The highest we have seen so far is 2.73% in Poland.

Government’s lack of transparency and contradictions in this sordid crony-misadventure are even more nauseating. Key industry players know that even before procurement processes will be triggered, the company to execute the dubious e-transaction levy services has long been identified by the Ministry of Finance and tasked to commence preparatory steps. It is just a matter of time for the anointed company which was incorporated on 19th July 2012 to be outdoored as our e-levy saviour and chief protector.

What Ghana urgently needs is transparent, accountable, frugal leadership, anchored on genuine love for country, not more draconian special-interest taxes.

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