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Communications minister eyes ‘momo’ profits, wants it taxed

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

The communications minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful wants mobile network operators to be taxed for the profit they realize on mobile money transactions.

Addressing the media in Accra on Thursday, the minister noted that the companies make as much as GHC71 million a month on their transactions, yet these monies go untaxed.

“This is of particular interest to me but this is where the Finance Minister and I diverge because I think that 71 million [cedis] which is generated by the operators in transaction fees, they ought to pay taxes on that revenue to the State.

“We are still having conversations about that,” she added.

Statistics released from the Bank of Ghana last year revealed that mobile money transactions increased from GH¢155 billion to GH¢233 billion representing 43% growth in just a year.

The data from the BOG also showed that the volume of transactions which increased from 2017 to 2018 reached GH¢1.4 billion.

In 2012 for instance, total transactions reached GH¢594 million and increased significantly every year to hit GH¢233 billion in 2018.

The World Bank in June, 2019 declared Ghana the fastest-growing mobile money market in Africa.

This obviously means the telecom companies are making significant profit in that regard and the sector minister wants to see to it that the state does not miss out on raking in revenue from that sector.

“Nobody is talking about actual mobile money transactions that are conducted by individuals. However, I am interested in the revenues that the mobile network operators earn from the transaction fees that own-users of the services pay to them.

“And I think the GRA [Ghana Revenue Authority] ought to have a conversation with them about that,” she added.

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