Former President John Mahama and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

Electronic Money Issuers (EMIs) in Ghana are hopeful that the Electronic Levy (E-Levy) will be abolished in 2025 under a new government, whether it is a government led by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or John Dramani Mahama from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

This is because the two leading presidential aspirants have pledged to abolish the E-levy when elected as president.

Commenting on it, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications,  Kenneth Ashigbey expressed optimism based on the commitments made by the two flag bearers of the two leading political parties.

The E-levy applies to transactions on all electronic and mobile money transactions exceeding GH¢100 per day.

At a press briefing organised by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN) on Thursday in Accra, Kenneth Ashigbey said one of the objectives of establishing money transfer platforms in Ghana was to reduce transaction costs.

He added that available data indicates a downward trend in transaction costs across the various platforms.

“…Fortunately for us in Ghana, the two candidates who have representation in Parliament have promised us that they will take the E-Levy off, so when that one comes definitely next year whoever come in, it is going to go off,” he said.

Revenue and political promises

In February 2023, the late former Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. John Kumah, disclosed that the government collected a total of GH¢1.19 billion in revenue from the E-levy.

However, both leading candidates ahead of the December 7, 2024 general election have pledged to abolish the tax as part of their policies.

NPP’s stance on E-Levy

The Vice President and flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated his intention to eliminate the E-Levy if elected President.

In his first major address following his selection as the NPP flagbearer, Dr. Bawumia outlined his policy plans for a “Digital and Cashless Ghana” and emphasized that abolishing the E-Levy would significantly contribute to this vision.

“To transition to a cashless economy, we need to encourage the use of electronic payment channels,” Dr. Bawumia declared. “Therefore, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will be abolished.”

NDC’s stance on E-Levy

Former President John Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has pledged to repeal the Electronic Transactions Act, describing it as a regressive tax that burdens Ghanaians.

“A new National Democratic Congress Government, God willing and with the votes of the sovereign people of Ghana – in   2025 — will repeal the E-Levy Act,” he stated.

While acknowledging the importance of taxation, Mr. Mahama emphasized the NDC’s opposition to “distortional and burdensome taxes such as the E-Levy that only force Ghanaians to endure more suffering.”

He further criticized the introduction of the E-Levy, calling it a “self-inflicted economic catastrophe.”