President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said despite the “unnecessary” disputation ongoing with regard to the e-levy, his government would continue to pursue that agenda nonetheless to revamp the economy.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the government spent a lot to lessen the burden on Ghanaians during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and, as such, it has become necessary to get adequate revenue to keep the economy going.
Addressing chiefs from Dzodze in the Volta Region on Tuesday, 1 February 2022, the President said: “Revenues, during 2020/2021 went down considerably because of the slowing down of the economic activities that came from the COVID-19”.
“At the same time, the government, in order to keep the country going, did incur some expenditures on the free water, the free electricity [services]”, the president said, adding: “These were the unavoidable expenses that government had to make…”
“These are the efforts that we are now making, which are being resisted by the opposition but we will try and close the gap”, he promised.
“That is the reason it has become necessary for us to use these measures like this famous tax which has caused so much unnecessary disputation; nevertheless, we would continue”, Mr Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo added that despite the opposition to the levy, “I am determined to persevere to make sure that we find the means to address some of the issues.”
The minority in parliament and a cross-section of the population have kicked against the e-levy and called on the government to drop it.
However, these calls have fallen on deaf ears.
The government has explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.
As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.
The government says the e-levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.