Time to tax MoMo proceeds - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Time to tax MoMo proceeds - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The Minister-designate for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said it is time telecommunication companies that operate mobile money paid taxes on the profits they generate from their services.

She said reports she had from the common platform, which monitors mobile money transactions, showed that in January this year alone, monthly transactions that passed through mobile money platforms amounted to GH¢81.3 billion.

That, she said, generated GH¢124.5 million in transaction fees for the mobile money operators, yet the money generated was not taxed, as applied to financial transactions, saying “if the state gets even 10 percent of that per month, that is GH¢12.5 million”.

“In my opinion (and I am expressing my opinion here), the transaction fees generated by operators from these huge traffic volumes on mobile money platforms ought to be taxed,” she said.

State must take interest

When she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament (ACP) last Monday, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful explained: “I am not saying that individuals who send and receive mobile money should be taxed. The fees they pay to all the network operators for the service are revenue that the operators earn and the state has to be interested in that and tax them.”

The Minister-designate made her opinion known when the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akuapem South, Mr. O. B. Amoah, asked her if there was a policy on mobile money transactions regarding money going through the system, whether such transactions should be taxed and what the implications of such an action would be.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful spent over five hours answering questions pertaining to her stewardship as a former Minister of Communications, the closure of radio stations, subscriber identification module (SIM) card registration, the KelniGVG contract, radiations emitted by telecom towers, women’s empowerment in politics, as well as the brouhaha surrounding a chair being pulled from under her in Parliament.

She also responded to questions pertaining to her temperament, particularly her public utterances against the Minority, a development that saw her apologising to her colleagues in the Minority four times during the vetting.