Government has urged the private sector to see the proposed Electronic Levy (E-levy) as an opportunity to share the burden of building a better and prosperous nation.
Deputy Finance Minister Charles Adu Boahen, speaking at the 10th Ghana Industry and Quality Awards organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in Accra, said the 1.75 percent levy on electronic transaction is a tough call but necessary to achieve a better country with good roads, education, healthcare and employment for the youth, among others.
“I think that we should all support it and look at it as an opportunity to share the burden and do our share for the country, so that we all can be proud of what we have created as a nation. We also want to use proceeds of this levy to support the youth; we have a huge problem when it comes to the youth.
“We have a very young population and this is a population that wants jobs, and we all know that the public sector cannot continue to provide all the jobs; we have to rely on the private sector to do so,” he said – emphasising that the tax will also be used to build an enabling environment for businesses to flourish and employ more youth.
On the impact it could have on the mobile money platform, digital finance and e-commerce industries, he said mobile money, in particular, has come of age with transactions worth GH¢571.8billion (US$99.67billion) in 2020 alone and growing.
The volume and value of mobile money transactions, he explains, also means that the industry is here to stay and its riches can be used to spur the country’s socio-economic advancement.
“We believe that COVID allowed this industry [mobile money] to mature quicker than we expected, because it has promoted the use of online services as we were all under lockdown. That is why we saw the market blossom so rapidly; that is why we see that it is cost-effective to make sure everyone participates in this quest to build our country better – and also to participate in paying their portion of the taxes so we can provide the roads, schools, healthcare and everything we demand as citizens of this country,” Mr. Boahen noted.
High electricity tariffs, straight levy, lack of access to credit remain barriers
According to the AGI, high cost of electricity, the straight levy policy and lack of access to finance remain key factors affecting the competitiveness of local producers.
“Today, businesses in Africa now have access to a 1.2 billion-person market with real GDP projected to grow at 3.7 percent. This means intra-Africa trade has the potential to increase significantly, especially considering the current low levels. The agreement also affords the creation of an enabling business environment to improve human capital, harmonise payments and settlement systems on the continent.
“In all these, the private sector will carry out the bulk of investment, so a good business climate will be critical,” said outgoing AGI President, Dr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi.
Corroborating Dr. Adu-Gyamfi, Chief Executive Officer of AGI Seth Twum Akwaboah said: “There is no way we can develop our supply chains if we continue to promote policies which make imports cheaper. It also defeats job creation, and our 1D1F initiatives risk becoming redundant”.
10th AGI Industry and Quality Awards
Themed ‘Positioning local industry to leverage AfCFTA’, the event saw Wilmar Africa Limited adjudged Best Industrial Company of the Year, B5 Plus took home the Best Corporate Social Responsibility award, with the Best Company Employer going to Olam.