The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Danwa Akufo-Addo, this week highlighted a string of important initiatives that his government is putting in place to continue with his vision of transforming our national architecture and the structure of our economy.
As we would admit, this is a government that has not been unduly ruthless with the people in matters of taxation, having elected to ignite productivity, first, as a philosophy to economic growth.
That government has, since 2017, invested heavily in almost all the sectors including energy, agriculture, health, and education as well as social protection, cannot be disputed.
Having scored remarkably well in all of these areas, what needs to be done, in moving forward to sustain our developmental goals is to generate revenue for national development.
During the President’s first term in office, the priorities were how to redeem ourselves from an IMF Programme and prove how credible we are as development partners and global actors in a sub-region that has potential for development.
Thankfully, as a result of efficient planning, restructuring of the economy, all based on the government’s fair understanding of the dynamics of development and partnerships, we have become a credible continental, sub-regional and global actor.
Our success story has resulted in the increasing numbers of global businesses trooping to Ghana to invest here. It has also manifested in growth, particularly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, which are major drivers of the economy.
As we would admit, never before in the history of this nation, has our commitment to budgetary allocations to several sectors been so maximal and transformational.
That is a huge feat we must applaud the government for, particularly in the light of the fact that we were just exiting from an IMF Programme.
Looking back at the pressures that the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked on global businesses with global repercussions on smaller economies like ours, it is interesting how we managed to weather the storm and modestly grow our economy.
But this was because, as the President stated during the SONA, we had enough reserves to enable us to stay resilient, without succumbing to food security challenges.
All these gains were aside from financial and other forms of support which the government offered businesses under social protection and rescue programmes.
That is why we agree with the Minister of Information on the need for ordinary citizens to fall in step with formalization measures that the government will be putting in place to lessen the burden of paying taxes to support economic growth and development.
Again, having scored immense success in our bid to generate national data to facilitate national development, the responsibility now lies with us as citizens to be compliant as those measures roll out so that instead of revenue leaking into pockets of unscrupulous citizens for their comfort, it will be secured to fund our health and education safety net programmes as well as aid in funding infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, hospitals, and markets.
Considering that we have a huge informal economy we must deal with, it is therefore imperative that we work together with the Trades Union Congress which now has working relations with that sector, in designing structures for fulfilling tax obligations.
As far as we are able to show what benefits such groups may derive from such engagements, it is our opinion that our collective goals in that direction will be attained earlier than we even expect, especially when it is on record that groups like the Greater Accra Tomato Traders Association now have a tax payment system with the AMA in which levies are daily remitted to the assembly on the truck by truck basis.
Replicated on markets, we believe such simple arrangements should enable the government through the assemblies to deliver on their responsibilities in revenue generation as citizens comply.