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E-Levy: We’re not against government’s tax agenda, MoMo agents say

The leadership of mobile money agents association of Ghana (MMAAG) interacting with President Akufo-Addo

The leadership of mobile money agents association of Ghana (MMAAG) interacting with President Akufo-Addo

The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) has said that its members are not against the government’s tax revenue-raising agenda and the newly introduced Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

According to the association, after broad consultation, members now back the tax policy and are committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to make the E-Levy a successful national policy.

The general secretary of the association, Evans Otumfuo, declared during a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday (10 May 2022) that “despite our earlier resistance to the E-Levy, we also understand that the government will have to take drastic measures in drastic times”.

“The E-Levy has now been passed into law and all citizens must obey, so we are here as allies and not opposing forces.

“We also commend the government for taking bold steps to reduce the Electronic Transfer Levy from the initial 1.75% to 1.5% and for the tall list of exemptions provided by the E-Levy,” Otumfuo said.

Urgent concerns

Otumfuo called on President Akufo-Addo to impress on all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the E-Levy – such as the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation – the urgency of taking immediate steps to address MMAAG members’ concerns and challenges.

“We appeal to you and the Minister for Finance to expedite actions to look at the challenges that the levy has brought to agents in the line of doing their business, such as deductions made on the agent’s accounts any time funds are transferred to their bank accounts for purposes of accessing cash to serve customers,” Otumfuo said.

“Let it be on the record, Your Excellency, that our organisation believes in the payment of taxes as a major tool to drive the needed development and progress, and would not do anything that frustrates the success of the levy,” he said.

Fraud and identity theft

Fraud and identity theft are the most pressing challenges that members of the MMAAG are having to deal with daily, the leader of the delegation said.

To this end, the mobile money agents’ general secretary called on the president to encourage the security agencies – and particularly the Inspector General of Police, George Akuffo Dampare – to engage with the association to find workable solutions to such challenges.

Offer of partnership

In his response, President Akufo-Addo welcomed the MMAAG’s decision to support the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy), and said that his government introduced the policy for the good of the country.

He said he welcomed the offer of a partnership with the government, as suggested by the MMAAG, to make sure that the E-Levy is administered successfully.

“I think it is appropriate that direct stakeholders like you voice out your concerns as you did and that these concerns are taken into account by the government, so that when the law was finally shaped like it has been, it is one that is meaningful for the state and it’s equally meaningful for the private-sector operatives who are in the area,” the president said.

President Akufo-Addo assured the MMAAG delegation that members’ security concerns as raised would be given immediate attention.

Wilberforce Asare

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