I write with utmost respect to apprise my adorable King, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II to exclude himself from political comments and concentrate on his good works for Asantemanand all Ghanaians. I am an Ashanti, an “Adansinii” to be specific and hails from Adansi Akrofuom, popularly called “Amankyem” in Obuasi area.
I have always admired my king but I feel disappointed in his recent comment about the unpopular e-levy policy and his statement against the Members of Parliament (MPs) who are fighting a good cause for the good people of Ghana.
I would like to ask if Nana is aware that the MPs are currently struggling against the government to liberate the citizens from paying double taxes? If someone pays 1.75% of the value of electronic transaction for the payment of items that are already taxed, is the person not paying double taxes?
Nana, I totally agree with you that tax collection is a sure way by which countries are developed, as you clearly stated. Your comment was intended to support the introduction and approval of the 1.75% levy on electronic financial transactions in the 2022 budget.
However, in my view, the government should not introduce such an unreasonable taxation system that is aimed at double-taxing the citizens, stealing from the people and erodingthe gains made in the electronic financial inclusion drive in the country.
Please Otumfuor, can you mention how many countriesin the world impose double taxation on their citizens? This proposed e-levy tax system is unconscionable!
Your majesty, before you publicly supported the government and admonished the legislators to stop frustrating the government, it would have been better if you had ordered your “fotosanfohene”, the treasurer of the Great Ashanti Throne to organize apolitical, genuine, knowledgeable and experienced economists to conduct financial analysis on the e-levy and Agyapa deals in the budget to determine their legitimacy, fairness and uprightness.
The government rather needs to focus on proper utilization of the country’s immense natural resources to minimize unemployment, increase revenue from widened taxnet and transform the nation’s dwindling economy. Also, you could use the occasion to caution the government to spend the nation’s resources wisely, instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on needless expensive travels.
My King, I can confidently declare to you that the unfriendly e-levy is a gratuitous taxation system which doesn’t make any economic sense but orchestrated by this government to impose severe suffering on the poor taxpayers.
Again, in my opinion as a Mining Engineer and Mineral Economist, the Agyapa deal is a diabolic plan by few nation wreckers to own our mineral resources and save the huge profitable returns in tax haven to avoid future investigations and subsequent prosecutions.
I was left totally flabbergasted when I heard you supporting these two dangerous policies. Nana, you are admired by your consideration for the plight of the poor taxpayers so what has changed this time? Why are you supporting the wrongs by this government?
Otumfuor, lots of Ghanaians were confused when your Commemorative Gold Coin launch was used as a political platform to defend the government’s friendless policies. A section of Ghanaians, including myself are wondering if you are throwing your support for the government because they have promised to pay the cost of your faulted electrical gadgets due to the recent power fluctuation, popularly called “dumsor”?
Nana, it would have been nice if you had used that opportunity to also advocate for the other residents in Ashanti Region who lost their gadgets because of the same “dumsor”. Surprisingly, youseemed to be supporting the criminally-minded policies in the budget.
Instead of defending such unfavourable policies, I wish to suggest to Your Highness that; use your influence to admonish the government to seal the financial leakages in the system, lower taxes and put strategic measures in place to include thosewho do not currently pay taxes to the ambit of taxation. Lots of business owners, especially those in the oil and gas industry evade taxes.
Nana, I would like to remind you about a quote from an American Governor in 2015, “Higher taxes still does not create prosperity for all. And, government still does not grow jobs – Bobby Jindal”.
Reducing taxes can incentivize the private sector to create more jobs, boost investment drive, generate more revenue from taxes and likely increase GDP over the long term.
This particular government has spearheaded amazingly corrupt practices that have led the state to lose gargantuan amount of money to certain individuals who are walking freely without facing the full rigours of the law.
The Auditor-General’s report from 2016 to 2020 indicates that Ghana has lost approximately GHS 34 Billion due to corrupt practices from public officers.
Again, the report shows that Ghana lost about GHS 12 billion in only 2020. If the e-levy is estimated to generate GHS 7 billion, why don’t we combat corrupt practices to minimize financial malfeasance, protect the public purse and generate more revenue instead?
In addition, the state has lost money through the PDS deal, Ameri deal, PPA deal, Banking Sector Fraud, Galamsey Missing Excavators, Missing Gold, among others.
Your Highness, Nana Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, you know that the core duty of the lawmakers is to represent the interest of Ghanaians and hence, challenge unpopular policies from the government that can result in unprecedented hardships.
Ghanaians will be glad if you use your higher authority to counsel the Executive Body of government led by PresidentAkufo Addo to listen to the pleas of the people, abolish the e-levy and discontinue the Agyapa deal.
This will help stop the entrenched positions held by the minority and majority caucuses in parliament, restore tranquility and pave way for the approval of the 2022 budget. God bless Asanteman! God bless Ghana!!
Written by: Solomon Owusu, PhD; Colorado, USA.