Some key groups in Ghana have expressed support for specific policy proposals of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, as articulated in his policy speech at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on February 7.
Among them are the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). Addressing a forum in Accra last week to announce his vision and plans for the development of the country, Dr. Bawumia promised to introduce a friendly tax regime to cushion businesses and also boost productivity. “The current tax system in place, since independence, has proven ineffective.
It is overly complex and burdensome for individuals and businesses, leading to widespread non-compliance and evasion,” he said. “To improve government revenue, we need to modernise and reorient the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to broaden the tax base. We estimate that approximately 13% of GDP or $24 billion in revenue was not collected in 2023 due to noncompliance. Even collecting a fraction of this amount annually would have a significant impact on public finances,” he added.
GUTA president lauds Bawumia President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng said GUTA welcomed the vision of Bawumia on the port and revenue generation measure. According to the GUTA boss, Bawumia’s ideas were refreshing and exciting. “I am overly excited.
This is exactly what I wanted to hear and I heard it. It means that they have been listening to whatever pleas that we have been making,” Dr. Obeng said. “It’s all about adopting compliance as a tool of revenue collection in his administration and it’s going to simplify the collection system, that’s why he is talking about a flat rate and that is even going to make duty payments flat-rated, starting with spare parts,” he indicated. AGI president applauds Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries also welcomed measures announced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), flagbearer, to modernise the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes in the country. Analyzing Dr Bawumia’s policy statement on JoyNews’ PM Express show, Dr. Ayim-Darke said the proposal would be good for businesses.
“This proposal makes us happy because it deals with some fundamental challenges we have complained about over the years. With this decision, businesses can breathe a sigh of relief since the burdensome nature of our tax system is worrying. We welcome this proposal,” he said. “We have, over the period, expressed concern over VAT and we say in the case of the VAT, the imposition of the VAT structure has cascading effects, and it needs to be streamlined to make businesses competitive. “Bawumia’s ideas and vision are laudable.
We are only waiting for the measures he would adopt to implement them. They are feasible and we are happy about that,” Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke told his host. Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Weigh In The Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association also commended Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s proposal to “introduce a very simple, citizen and business-friendly flat tax regime” if he is elected president.
The association in a statement said: “The Association views this initiative as highly commendable and believes it will play a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of spare parts dealerships nationwide. It added that “the proposed flat rate tax is poised to significantly reduce the cost of spare parts, providing much-needed relief to commercial drivers who routinely factor these expenses into transport fares.”
“As an apolitical organization dedicated to the development and enhancement of the spare parts dealership industry, we wholeheartedly accept and support Dr. Bawumia’s proposal,” it added. NUGS NSS The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) also positively received Vice President Bawumia’s proposal to make National Service optional if elected President. The Vice President pledged to make National Service optional for graduates who seek immediate employment after completing tertiary education.
Responding to the proposal on behalf of the students union, its President, Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh welcomed the proposal and added that if well implemented, will help Ghanaian students who miss out on jobs.
“We all know that because NSS is mandatory, some students lose job opportunities, so, we believe it is a good call and will help the students to get job offers right after school,” he said on Asempa FM. The NUGS president added that making NSS optional would benefit experienced students who could enter the job market immediately after graduation.