Ghana’s Tax System – Part 1 (Reverse Robinhood)

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Tax

“We are going, Heaven knows where we are going,” the first line of the song titled Woyaya, originally composed and sang by Osibisa band, and rehashed by Wiyaala. This song would also be used by the Osofo Dadzie Drama Group of yesteryear and become synonymous with this Ghanaian Comedy Group.

Heaven may know where we are headed as a people but here on earth, many a Ghanaian is seriously lost or as confused and bewildered by the state of the nation Ghana under His Excellency Akufo- Addo’s second term. Few are surprised but many including this writer are shocked; Shocked and Frustrated by the sense of hopelessness gradually creeping into the psyche of the nation. No sooner had an array of hope begin to set in after Vice-President Bawumia’s somewhat energized speech on digitalization than Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta introduce a new Regressive Tax disguised as a Flat tax to pile on the misery of Ghanaians. In Principle, I am not against the concept of taxation. Tax dollars are used for various developmental projects of various countries, and would personally prefer that our nation of Ghana, generates its own growth funds internally than running to the IMF, World Bank, the Chinese government, and other foreign countries for money each time it wants to embark on any form of development. Afterall, much of what is given to us by way of external borrowings go back to these various institutions and governments as interest. In addition to these exorbitant interest rates charged, there are always some strange conditions attached as if the money given us is for charity.

I wrote “Ghana Black Stars” (modernghana.com, 2017) with lots of excitement and zeal believing that the NPP, a party of which I sympathized and supported ‘had the men’ and women. Men and women including Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the current vice-president and Madam Otiko Afisa Dzaba, cousin to Ex-President John Dramani Mahama. However, I must confess that even I, the author of the above titled article and writer of this piece is hugely disappointed and almost in disbelief at the current government in its 2nd Term for what seems to be a very disorganized operation. A typical example is what transpired in the aftermath of Vice-President Bawumia’s speech at the Ashesi University. The speech on the digitalization of the Ghanaian economy was met with so much goodwill that even some members of the various opposition parties had no choice but to acknowledge same, only to have the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta troop in and sour the atmosphere with his proposed unreasonable tax on Momo. What made this even painful is the fact that His Excellency Bawumia had on numerous occasions when quizzed, stated categorically that no new taxes were on the horizon. It begs the question of who really is ruling our nation of Ghana. By ruling, I do not intend to question the mandate given to President Akufo-Addo and the NPP to govern the country; But I seek to ask the dear reader to probe further to ascertain who in this 2nd Term of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration has final authority on all things finance and other issues. For rumor has it that rather than decisions being made by the president in consultation with his vice-president and cabinet, there’s a small group including members of the president’s family and trusted friends in whose hands final decisions are taken. In short, our country of Ghana is at the mercy of a Cabal of Family and Friends who may or may not be knowledgeable about the topics of which they rule. Sadly, this cabal excludes the current vice-president, Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia. The vice president of Ghana has taken on a position similar to that of President Akufo-Addo’s father in the Busia administration to become a ceremonial figure in this 2nd Term whose only use is giving speeches better left for various sector ministers and their deputies.

The Legend of Robinhood states that a once in a generation thief formed a gang of like-minded individuals to take from the rich and give to the poor. Thus, the opposite could be referred to as ‘Reverse Robinhood’ as is being witnessed in this 2nd Term of this current NPP administration beginning with this exorbitant 1.75% levy on Momo transactions.

Oman-Ghana; Heaven knows where we are going even if we as Ghanaians under this current NPP government (2nd Term) feel lost in the wilderness. The road may be muddy and rough but someday we shall get there. For now, we keep marching forward to our destination of creating a ‘Better Ghana’ for generations to come. A Nation Beyond Aid and Kleptocracy in Honor of our Forebearers who founded this Land for us and so appropriately named it GHANA! Oman-Ghana, We Shall Get There; Truth Is Our Light; GYE NYAME!

Fiifi Ofori (fiifiofori@gmail.com)

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