The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) has said contrary to reports the Association’s members are against the newly introduced Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy); they are rather in support of it as allies and major stakeholders.
“The E-Levy has now been passed into law and all citizens must obey, so we are here as allies and not opposing forces”, MMAAG General Secretary, Evans Otumfuo, said during a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday (10 May) at the Jubilee House, the Seat of Government.
He added: “despite our earlier resistance to E-Levy, we also understand that the government will have to take drastic measures in drastic times.”
In a meeting with President Akufo-Addo, Evans Otumfuor assured the Government of the commitment of MMAAG to ensuring that the E-levy’s implementation will be supported by its members.
“Your Excellency, let it be on record that our organization 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” the General Secretary stated.
“Your Excellency, recently we have witnessed 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.
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”
He also appealed the President Akufo-Addo to address some of the challenges the E-Levy has brought to them.
“Your Excellency, we appeal to you and the Minister of Finance to expedite action to look at the challenges that the levy has brought to us as agents in line with doing our business such as deductions that are made at the agent’s account in an attempt to push funds from their agent’s accounts to their bank accounts for purposes of withdrawals and other agents’ related activities”
The General Secretary also touched on the low level of education on the E-Levy and pledged that the association is ready to help in educating Ghanaians on the levy.
“We have identified, Your Excellency, the feedback and signals picked after the implementation of the E-Levy which really has revealed that communication on the E-levy has been extremely low. Your Excellency, it is in the best interest of the association to help drive education and the needed sensitization. We are ready to mount any responsibility that government will be willing to give to the association to ensure that, one, our businesses are well protected and then again we will encourage the consumer to increase their confidence in the usage of the Mobile Money platform”
He also touched on the challenges the association is facing which includes financial fraud, armed robbery, high cost of operations, difficulties in accessing funds.
The Association also implored the President to include its members on boards and institutions whose policies and programs directly or indirectly affect their businesses.
“In concluding, the association is proud of you for these wonderful initiatives and that MMAAG is ready to partner government to bring more of such refreshing policies since the Mobile Money business is one of the area government can invest in to create more employment for the youth” the General Secretary stated.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Association for agreeing to partner with government in ensuring that the E-Levy becomes a success.
“I am also very very encouraged and grateful by this offer of partnership to make sure this controversial tax is successfully administered” the President said.
He also expressed his happiness about the fact that stakeholders in the industry voice out their concerns as and when the need arises.
“I think it is appropriate that stakeholders like you voice out your concerns as you did and that these concerns are taken into account by government so that when the law is finally shaped like it has been, it’s one that’s meaningful for the state and it’s equally meaningful for the private sector operatives who are in this area” the President emphasized.
Also present at the meeting were the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the executive members of the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) and other top officials from the Communications Ministry as well as the Presidency