Deputy Information Minister Fatimatu Abubakar has urged the leadership of the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) not to act prematurely by embarking on their planned strike action on Thursday, December 23, 2021, over the yet-to-be introduced Electronic Transfer Levy.
Since Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta’s announcement of the levy in the 2022 budget statement on Wednesday, November 17, there have been mixed reactions to the policy.
The Minority in Parliament, for instance, has mounted strong resistance to the policy, claiming it is “draconian” and going to worsen the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Telecommunication giants MTN and AirtelTigo last Friday announced that they will revise their charges downwards to cushion customers if the Levy comes into force.
But the MMAAG in a statement on Sunday, December 19, insists its members’ action on Thursday is to register “our total displeasure with the Government’s proposed e-levy of 1.75%”.
“All agents will go on strike hence all outlets will remain closed.”
The Association said it deems it “necessary to embark on an industrial action” as members see the levy as “very regressive” and “critical to the survival of our businesses”.
They warned that an indefinite strike will be triggered if their demands are not met.
But the Deputy Information Minister Fatimatu Abubakar in an interview on Kumasi-based Pure FM, said there’s no justification for the hasty move by the Mobile Money Agents.
“Demonstration is not an answer to the e-levy opposition. Considerations and engagements are ongoing with various stakeholders so they should not jump the gun without having the benefit of the conclusions on the engagements,” the lawyer cum politician said.
Meanwhile, the e-Levy is before Parliament and is expected to be debated on Monday, December 20.
It is proposing a 1.75 percent tax on all electronic transactions of more than GH¢100.