General News of Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Government’s desire and ability to mobilize and maximize domestic revenue is an integral part of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated.
Outlining a number of measures government is implementing to strengthen the economy and boost domestic revenue growth, Vice President Bawumia said President Akufo-Addo’s vision of Moving Ghana Beyond Aid was “not a mere rhetoric but a reflection of the reality.”
“Let me assure you that we are committed to implementing policies and operational steps that will put us on a sound footing to mobilize the required revenue for sustainable development…Judging from our history and our vision for the future, there is no doubt that we need to rethink how we develop as a country. It has become obvious that we need to be more efficient and effective in managing our resources to ensure rapid economic growth and transformation.
“Going beyond aid is an inevitable conversation, and we can choose to confront it now or postpone it to our peril.In fact, a greater illusion is for us to think that we can continue to build schools to educate our children, provide adequate health services for a healthy Ghana, provide safe and adequate water, provide sanitation services for a clean Ghana, provide law and order for a good society, on the inexhaustible charity of donor projects.”
His comments come after former Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said the government is yet to provide adequate information about its Ghana Beyond Aid mantra, which raises questions about what exactly it seeks to achieve.
But Dr Bawumia has stated that government is putting in place the necessary blocks, such as the issuance of a National ID Card, a National Digital Property Addressing System, and the use of a Tax Identification Number to access key services, to broaden the tax base and reduce the tax burden on the estimated 1.2 million taxpayers supporting a population of about 27 million.
The Vice President also reiterated government’s commitment to developing Ghana using domestic revenues and ingenuity at an ongoing Conference in Accra on Moving Ghana Beyond Aid – Revenue Mobilization in Accra on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.
The Conference, organised by the Africa Centre For Economic Transformation in collaboration with Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund, is being attended by countries which have signed on to the G20-Compact With Africa (CWA) including Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.
One of the key pillars of the vision of moving Ghana beyond aid, Vice President Bawumia reiterated, was to enhance domestic revenue while pursuing a more transparent, prudent and accountable use and management of public resources.
“For now, Ghana Beyond Aid is resting on five pillars: First, and most obvious, is to enhance domestic revenue mobilization. And we must do so in ways that do not undermine productive activities or distort private incentives for work. Second, is to encourage higher private savings as a source of loans to support the domestic credit and capital market, and expand financial inclusion.
“Third, is to pursue a more transparent, prudent and accountable use and management of public resources. Fourth, is to leverage our resources that are buried deep in the ground for development in more innovative ways than the conventional model of royalty and tax regimes. Fifth is innovative mobilization and use of external resources in the emerging development finance landscape.”
Vice President Bawumia urged the Conference attendees to come up with new ideas as well as better ways of improving revenue collection.
“How can technology help? How do we minimize human interface and the risk of collusive behavior in avoiding and evading taxes? I will encourage resource persons and participants to help us address these challenges.