Ghana could raise a huge amount of money to fund her development projects if the mobile money platforms of all telecommunications companies (telcos) are taxed, the Minister-designate for Communications and Digitisation, Ursula Owusu–Ekuful has said.
She disclosed that in January 2021 alone, 344.6 million transactions that occurred on all mobile networks amounted to GHC81.2 billion, adding that out of this money, GHC124.5 million went to the operators as transaction fees.
“In my opinion, the transaction fees generated by operators from this huge traffic and volumes on mobile money platforms ought to be taxed,” she added.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said this when she appeared before the Appointments’ Committee of Parliament to be vetted as the substantive Minister for Communications and Digitilisation.
“I have been informed that some of them are even phasing out the sale of scratch cards and insisting on top-ups from mobile money. What that means is that the revenue that the State would have gotten from the sale and receipts of scratch cards have been lost and they are charging 10% for each top-up on mobile money and that money they are generating is beyond the reach of the state,” she disclosed.
She added that while the state was already losing money on the traditional revenue generation streams because of the evolution of technology, the new revenue generation streams the network operators were benefiting was also worsening the matter.
She said the state should tax the free money the telcos were making from Ghanaians, adding the tax should not be passed on to the consumers as indirect tax by the operators.
“Mr Chairman, they are already charging consumers for the use of this service at 1% per transaction and that revenue they are getting from the transaction fees should be taxed and that tax cannot be passed on to the consumers,” she stressed.
Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah, ISD