June 13, 2024
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Bawumia’s delivery raises serious questions about the government – Prof. Gyampo

The President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) at the University of Ghana Chapter has raised concerns regarding Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s recent address on Wednesday, February 7.

Prof. Ransford Gyampo asserted that the government must address these concerns if it intends for the New Patriotic Party, led by Dr. Bawumia, to retain power.

Dr. Bawumia pledged to abolish the controversial electronic transaction levy, commonly referred to as the E-Levy, if elected into office.

During his address, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party emphasized the importance of transitioning Ghana into a cashless economy, not only to stimulate economic growth but also to combat corruption.

He stressed the need to incentivise the use of electronic payment channels to achieve this objective.

The tax was implemented by the government as part of its strategy to broaden the tax base and generate revenue for development.

“I would like to bring Ghana close to a cashless economy in the shortest possible time. So far the Bank of Ghana has made a lot of progress in this direction by putting in place a lot of the systems and infrastructure required. These include mobile money interoperability, merchant interoperability, Universal QRCode payment system, Gh-Link, debit cards, Ezwich, and GhanaPay.”

“We have put in place the necessary infrastructure for Ghana to go cashless. Recently the Bank of Ghana has completed a pilot of a digital version of the Ghana cedi note in Sefwi Wiawso. This is known as central bank digital currency (CBDC) or e-cedi. The e-cedi is designed to work online and offline and will be launched by the Bank of Ghana in due course.”

“In my humble opinion, the e-cedi, with appropriate privacy protections, will be the ultimate weapon in our fight against corruption because it will provide transparency, reduce the risk of fraud, robbery, tax avoidance, and money laundering since it will be easy to track the movement of money and identify suspicious activity. The e-cedi will quicken the pace of Ghana’s move towards a cashless or near cashless society.”

However, Prof. Gyampo questioned why Dr. Bawumia is not pressuring the government to implement these initiatives immediately rather than waiting until assuming power.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, February 8, Prof. Gyampo expressed his concerns, highlighting the importance of swift action in adopting measures to transition Ghana into a cashless society.

“Parts of the presentation was an indictment of the government of which he is part, in a manner that raises serious questions and vindicates those of us who have been critics of the government.

“Promising to have not more than 50 Ministers when you are part of a government of over 100 Ministers; and promising to abolish some taxes like the Emissions tax, Gaming Tax, E-Levy, VAT on electricity consumption, etc makes some of us feel vindicated for criticising and calling for downsizing of government and the abolition of such nuisance taxes,” an excerpt of his post said.

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