That the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global community, with Ghana not being spared, for that matter, does not appear to be a fact appreciated by the opposition National Democratic Congress. Ghana is even on record to have done far better than most global economies.
Members of the NDC fail to appreciate that the country has come far, and that what we have to do at this point as government and nation is to collectively take measures that will make the desired impact in reducing debt, augmenting infrastructure, creating jobs and improving lives and livelihoods.
So, even after the annual budget had been approved, and policies, strategies and initiatives had been put in place to help overcome our developmental challenges, the sentiments of doom and gloom still appear to be the thrust of the communication and propaganda firepower of the NDC.
From party chiefs and Minority MPs through communicators and ground forces to their ‘ignorant’ constituents, the focus still appears more on fears that the government cannot attain revenue targets. This is away from the original stance on the floor of Parliament and the mischief about the ‘MoMo Tax’ being wicked and that players on the ground, including the Telcos, out of that unfounded apprehension, are not being supportive of the innovative initiative as natural and mutual partners.
Still shifting grounds, the NDC moves a notch higher in its pessimism, and argues that even if we access all the ‘MoMo Tax’ receipts, we will still not be balancing our budget, but inflict ourselves with a gaping debt trap.
Unfortunately, members of the NDC ignore certain facts about budget projections and the fact that the 2022 budget is a whole gamut of state fiscal business at various sectors, with each sector programmed to attain goals that stir accelerated growth, rather than looking at debts per se and how a ‘Momo Tax’ can erase those debts.
Thank God that what the NDC hasn’t denied is the fact that if we accelerate our pace of development enough, we will gradually be erasing the debt stock and making other gains in other sectors, including attracting more investments that impact sustainable job creation, which we all agree is paramount in moving forward.
Again, the NDC appears not to appreciate the economic fact that a focus on industry will ensure that acceleration and, hence, the need to focus on that sector to deliver enhanced productivity and generate revenue to further expand the economy and gradually deal with the debt situation.
As for the investment in roads and other infrastructure, the reality is that as we add to the existing stock, subsequent expenditure will reduce. That helps to conveniently manage other statutory expenditures, including minimising internal and external debts.
A journey of thousand miles, we are told, begins with the first step which, in this instance, rests on implementation of this novel revenue mobilisation machinery in moving us out of the doldrums onto safer grounds.
Since our Fourth Republican dispensation, both governments have tried a couple of innovative revenue policies to fund their development agenda. What the government is seeking to do now with the proposed introduction of this ‘Momo Tax’ is just one of such measures.
We must collectively move on as we did in the rollout of the Free SHS programme, which is now benefitting all Ghanaians.
It is the opinion of the Daily Statesman that the conversation should shift to education and awareness generation in encouraging compliance, rather than civil rebellion, in a matter as grave as a collective responsibility in paying taxes to move our nation forward together.
Like all other countries, Ghana is challenged in many aspects of our development, but we can together weather the storm. Let’s us all be prepared to join hands in working for the collective good of our country. That is a divine call.