Members of the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) have said despite their earlier resistance to the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy), they now support it.
The reason is the fact that the government, in the face of the current difficulties, would have to take drastic measures to support the economy.
As such, the Association has pledged its commitment to ensuring that the administration of the E-Levy would be supported by its members.
Furthermore, the Association has urged Ghanaians to obey the E-Levy as it has now become law.
“The E-Levy has now been passed into law, and all citizens must obey, so we here as allies and not opposing forces,” the General Secretary of MMAAG, Evans Otumfuo, said this on behalf of the Association at Jubilee House yesterday in a meeting with President Akufo-Addo, which also had the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, in attendance.
Evans Otumfuo placed on record that the organisation believes in the payment of taxes as a major tool to drive the needed development and progress, assuring that they would not do anything to frustrate the success of the levy.
He seized the opportunity to also commend “the government for taking bold steps to reduce the electronic transfer levy from the initial 1.75% to 1.5%, and the tall list of exemptions provided by the E-Levy,” but swiftly added that they “had wished it reduced further for fear of its attendant impact on our businesses.”
However, the Association’s scribe appealed to the government to expedite actions to address the challenges that the levy had brought to the agents.
He cited some as deductions made on agent’s accounts anytime funds were transferred to their bank accounts for purposes of accessing cash to serve customers.
Evans Otumfuo said they had observed through the feedback after the effective date that communications on the E-Levy had been extremely low.
He stressed that it was in the best interest of the Association to help drive education and the needed sensitisation, and pledged that they were ready to man the responsibility of going around the country to help with public education.
Meanwhile, the Association requested for an assurance that the government had some remedial steps to take should the levy weighs the sector down.
While mentioning that the Association intended to support the government to realize the needed revenue, they commended the government for these “wonderful initiatives and that MMAAG is ready to partner government to bring more of these refreshing policies since the mobile money business is one of the areas the government can invest in to create more employment for the youth.”
The Association made a passionate appeal to the President to help them have representation on all boards whose policies affect mobile money growth and development. They specifically mentioned the Bank of Ghana’s board that handles digital financial payments, and any other policymaking platforms such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, National Communications Authority and Ministry of Finance.
President Akufo-Addo in his remarks expressed delight in seeing the Association. He said was aware of the expansion of the business so it was good to meet the faces behind.
He congratulated them on what he termed their ingenuity and sense of enterprise in seeing the possibilities of development in the digitization program, saying, “this is what we want to see in this country.”
He said he was encouraged for the offer of partnership to make sure the controversial E-levy was successfully administered.
“I think it is appropriate that direct stakeholders like you voice out your concerns as you did, and that these concerns are taking into account by government…,” he opined.
On the appeal to have representations on all boards that are related to their business, President Akufo-Addo could not see how feasible that could be.
Though he told the Association it would be looked at, he also said he would be surprised these agencies are regulatory agencies. He pointed out how the regulator would be on the same board with the people they regulate.
Alternatively, he suggested regular meetings between the Association and the Ministries responsible, for their concerns to be addressed appropriately.