Too many taxes crippling telcos – Dr. Ashigbey

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chamber, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chamber, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications is warning against overburdening telecom operators with taxes, saying it could cripple the growth of the sector.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chamber, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, said the technology industry must be seen as a driver of development rather than just a source of revenue.

He said the telecoms sector is currently one of the most heavily taxed industries in the country, with close to 50% of income going into taxes and other regulatory requirements.

Speaking to ZED FM, Dr. Ashigbey said the sector is lacking fiscal space for investment, stressing the need for policies that support growth and sustainability.

He added that the notion that telecom companies in Ghana are highly profitable is false, citing that only one company is currently profitable while the others struggle to sustain operations.

Dr. Ashigbey highlighted the case of Airtel-Tigo and how the two companies merged but could not make a profit.

He called on the government to put measures such as tax reductions in place that will allow the sector to grow and become a main driver of the economy.

Proceeds from taxes, fees, levies, and other payments remitted and gathered by the telecommunications sector for the government increased from GH¢ 4.02 billion in 2021 to GH¢ 6.07 billion last year.

The industry’s contribution of GH 6.07 billion constituted approximately 8.02 percent of the government’s 2022 tax revenue of GH 75.71 billion, as outlined in the 2022 annual report of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Out of the GH₵ 6.07 billion, GH₵1.7 billion went to Corporate Income Tax; GH₵922.9 million went to Value Added Tax; GH₵679.4 million went to Withholding Tax; GH₵482.8 million went to electronic levy; GH₵768 million went to NHIL, GETF levy, and COVID-19; GH₵511.6 million went to Communications Service Tax; GH₵175.18 million went to PAYE, and GH₵560.7 million went to other remittances.


Source: zedmultimedia.