E-Levy must not spark coup in Ghana, says Ofori-Atta

The finance minister's comments come after Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, a social media activist was charged with treason felony for threatening coup if the levy passes

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance has said the introduction of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) must not spark any form of insurrection in Ghana despite the general outburst against it.

His comments come after Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, a social media activist was charged with treason felony for allegedly stating that he would stage a coup in Ghana if Parliament passes the E-Levy bill.

Speaking at a townhall meeting on the economy in the Upper West Region on Monday (21 February), Ofori-Atta said: “For all it ills, if really you transfer a million cedis a year and the state asks you GHC 15,000, is that too much to address the issues of our debts, our infrastructure and youth employment?”

“If you make GHC100,000 of transfer a year and I take GHC1, 500 from you, is that too much to warrant an insurrection?” Ofori-Atta asked.

He therefore questioned the continuous opposition of the E-Levy by the Minority in Parliament.

“And if I look at Upper West [Region] of where we have 11 constituencies of which we have Nandom, Lambussie and Tumu, and we have 340,000 people within the age bracket of 15 and 35 with serious issues of unemployment and with eight of our MPs coming from the NDC.

“What reason will they have to stop an E-Levy which is looking at GHC10 billion intervention called YouStart to get at the issue of employment. You hate NPP all you want, but what about your 340,000 youth who need jobs, where is the republic versus policy…,” Ofori-Atta said.

Intensify education on E-Levy

The government must step up education on the benefits of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) to Ghanaians in order to get a buy in on the policy, the embattled former deputy general secretary of the opposition NDC, Koku Anyidoho, has suggested.

His comment comes on the back of recent opposition to the controversial bill by the Minority in Parliament and a cross section of the general public.

Koku Anyidoho
Samuel Koku Anyidoho, founder and CEO of the Atta-Mills Institute

“If you go back, Value Added Tax (VAT) when it was coming, history has a very interesting way of repeating itself…  it was the same turbulence – the lack of understanding of what VAT was going to do for the country. I don’t know but maybe they are not communicating around the E-Levy very well,” Anyidoho told Asaase News.

“If they do it properly and they really get Ghanaians to understand that really there is a rationale and a reason for it,” he suggested.

Fred Dzakpata

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