Vodafone Ghana CEO gives November 26 as deadline to halt upfront deduction of 9% Communications Services Tax, kicks against taxing mobile money transactions

The Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana Patricia Obo-Nai has stated that her company will from November 26 halt the upfront deduction of Communication Service Tax (CST) from airtime top-up.

Patricia Obo-Nai

According to her, customers will henceforth receive the exact amount of airtime they purchase, unlike how their top-up balance currently reflects a deduction of the CST.

“In the past when you recharge GH¢1, I will take ¢0.70 pesewas and give it to government.”

Patricia Obo-Nai said this while speaking in an interview with Accra based Joy FM on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

The implementation of the CST has been a controversial topic, as customers say they are being cheated by the telecommunication companies.

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, recently, directed telecommunication network operators to halt the upfront deduction of the 9% Communications Services Tax (CST).

This was in a bid to stop telecommunications companies from giving their customers less airtime than they purchased.

This means prices of data packages will be increased by telcos to accommodate the 9% tax customers are mandated to pay.

The Vodafone CEO, hence, noted that “When you see a price increase on any product, it will not be because of the telecoms wants to address inflation, or operational cost, it is just tax we are collecting.”

She indicated that the decision was reached following a meeting with the Communications Ministry.

Speaking of the recent tax being imposed on mobile money transactions, Patricia noted that for Ghana’s digital market to grow, government should desist from taxing mobile money operations.

She said that taxing mobile money operations will only discourage its usage and that was unhealthy for the growth of the country’s digital market.

“If you ask me, I still think the industry is still young. If you tax mobile money you won’t get the penetration you require,” she said.

The CEO explained that the mobile money industry has the least penetration although awareness has been high in the country.

Although the World Bank in June described Ghana as the fastest growing mobile money market in Africa with registered accounts increasing 6 folds, she believes that more should be done to encourage its penetration.


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