Business News Thu, 12 May 2022

We 'disagree' with our national leaders' E-Levy endorsement – Mobile money agents

The Eastern regional branch of the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana has dissociated itself from a recent endorsement of the electronic levy by their national leadership after a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.

The group’s General Secretary, Mr Evans Otumfuor, told the President at the meeting on Wednesday, 10 May 2022: “Your Excellency, let it be on record 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 E-levy”.

“Your Excellency, recently we have witnessed the government’s plan to introduce an electronic transaction levy which, as an association, we have raised a number of concerns but as we speak now, yesterday we were in a meeting with the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority and other relevant stakeholders and most of our concerns regarding the electronic transaction levy (E-Levy) have been addressed”, he stated.

He also emphasised that it is important that as a nation, “drastic measures are taken at drastic times when the need be."

The levy, Mr Otumfuor indicated, has now been passed into law and all citizens must obey.

“So, we are here as allies and not opposing forces."

Commending the government for taking a bold step in getting revenue for the development of the country, the association, he stated, is happy that “the government has bold steps to reduce the electronic transaction levy from the initial 1.75% to 1.5% and a tall list of exemptions provided by the levy. We had wished it to reduce further for fear of its attendant impacts on our businesses”.

In a counter-statement, however, the group’s dissatisfied Eastern regional branch said: “We disassociate ourselves from the position taken by our leadership”.

The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG), Eastern Chapter, wish to sincerely appreciate the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the opportunity and consideration awarded to our National Leadership on Tuesday the 10th day of May 2022 for a closed-door meeting about the implementation of the Electronic Levy.

We equally wish to commend our National Leadership for travelling that far and wish them well in their leadership expedition.

We further wish to applaud the media for the space accorded our leadership that saw the rapid spread of the meeting with the President worldwide.

We however disassociate ourselves from the position taken by our leadership.

It is, without doubt, accepted that strong associations are built upon a united and focused grassroots; in view of this, every decision must represent the views of the grassroots. The Eastern Chapter of the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) wishes to state categorically that its grassroots and leadership were not consulted prior to the declaration of the association’s position about the Electronic Levy by our leadership and as a result, does not represent our views.

We wish to state that since the passage into law of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075), the majority of mobile money agents have a diminutive understanding of the implementation of the Act, and are left in [a state of] panic [about] the collapse of their businesses. In striving to survive, some agents are thinking of venturing into other businesses.

We require the following to be able to take a viewpoint on the E-Levy:

1. Intensive education on the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 vis-à-vis the survival of our businesses.

2. The security of our human resources and our business.

3. The policy that ensures financial support for Agents in the mixed of E-Levy implementation.

4. The MTN Ghana reduction of P2P MoMo transaction charge by 25% vis-à-vis Agent deposit or cash-in transactions to subscribers.

5. How to sustain and increase our business returns and preserve the employment created.

6. How often agents’ commissions would taste an increment.

However, we wish to state categorically that as citizens of Ghana, we will never oppose taxation meant for developing the country. Development such as good roads, potable water, standard health centres, schools and many others could easily be achieved through revenue amassed from taxation. The Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) is a law now in our dear nation and cannot stand for agitation by the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG). Yet, the agents in Eastern Region need to be assured of the safety measures and the longevity of our business to enable us to take a firm position about the E-Levy.

We request to all Eastern Regional Agencies and Departments concerned in the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) to assist in ironing out our concerns highlighted above.

We finally appeal to Mobile Money Agents in the Eastern region to remain resolute as we take legitimate steps to seek more clarifications on the concerns stated above so as to be able to forward our viewpoints on E-Levy.

Going forward, we entreat that collectively as an Association, we build a strong front to fight for our common interest for the betterment of the membership base and our business.
Source: classfmonline.com