Ghana: Government Hearing-Impaired To Wise Counsel – Former Finance Minister

By Maxwell Nkansah

Former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor

The Former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has said the NPP government has forced the electronic transaction levy on Ghanaians because they turned a deaf ear to wise counsel from economic experts such as himself.

Lamenting on his Facebook wall the morning after the e-levy was passed, the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana said: “The NPP has progressed in their passage of the unpopular e-levy bill. May it be on record that despite the hardship of the Ghanaian people and disaffection for the e-levy, the NPP ignored these concerns and added to our tax burden”.

Some Ghanaians have expressed public indignation against the NPP government for the passage of the e-levy in parliament on Wednesday, 30 March 2022 despite a lack of popular support from the general public, a boycott of the Minority Caucus as well as warnings from economic experts.

Just like many well-meaning and experienced economic experts, Dr. Duffuor, in the past, offered several alternatives to the unpopular e-levy.

Speaking on Tuesday, 21 February 2021, on his Accra-based Starr ahead of the IFS’s forum on domestic revenue mobilization mode, Dr. Duffuor said, “Currently in Ghana, foreign interests are largely the main beneficiaries of our extractive sector at the expense of Ghanaians who benefit from very little revenue from our natural resources”.

He added: “We must start looking at the sector we have ignored over the years – the extractive sector”.

“A well-managed natural resources center has emerged as the safest route to prosperity in many developed countries such as the USA, UK, and Germany. We must go back and renegotiate our mining agreements for higher revenues rather than stick to colonial agreements to the detriment of our people”, he advised.

As a former Governor of the central bank, Dr. Duffuor expected the NPP government to have paid heed to his counsel on how to proceed with revenue mobilization without taxing an electronic mode of payment.

However, that did not happen.

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