I do not agree with the position of Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma West constituency, on taxing profits that telecommunication companies earn from mobile money transactions. Yes, one of the reasons government may insist on taxing the GH₵ 852 million in profit that telecommunication companies make annually is to tackle cybercrime. However, government should be more pro-tech in its approach.
In an increasingly digitized economy, Ghanaian consumers regard mobile money as the most convenient way to transfer funds, receive payments and save. Increased taxes for telecommunication companies would pervert our progress towards more financial inclusion and a cashless society.
It is a developing sector of our economy which offers diverse opportunities for consumers and has a huge potential for growth.
Mobile money has changed the consumer experience for the better and many Ghanaians benefit from this, especially those without bank accounts. People, for instance, are spending much less on transport for business transactions: today, you don’t need to drive to the nearest bank or ATM, one can simply do this on a phone. And certainly, you are also less likely to find long queues at banks; it is clearly speeding up trade. There is a growing network of vendors, based in commercial complexes and on the street-side, that help process transactions. You can find them everywhere you go.
Let us not stifle the expansion of the mobile money market, putting the burden of tax on consumers and low-income earning employees in the telecommunications industry. Instead, government should be focused on engaging telecommunication companies to improve technological literacy through corporate social responsibility: the future is digital!
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