5 things Ghanaians must take note of in the 2022 'Agyenkwa' budget

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has presented the government's budget statement and economic policy for the year 2022.

Ken Ofori-Atta

He delivered the budget in Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, and it is the sixth budget of the government led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo per Article 179 of the 1992 constitution.

Ken Ofori-Atta in his presentation outlined key policies the government has already done and will do in the future.

The budget dubbed is 'Agyenkwa' budget which means 'Saviour' budget.

Pulse.com.gh lists 5 key things Ghanaians must take note of in the 2022 'agyenkwa' budget presented by Ken Ofori-Atta.

  • Ghana abolishes road tolls

Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that the government of Ghana has proposed the abolishment of all road tolls in the country.

He said the proposal was to enhance productivity and reduce environmental pollution which is also meant to reduce heavy traffic.

He said "Mr. Speaker, our roads need fixing. Our roads are being fixed. It is true that more roads have been fixed and are being fixed over the last five years than any relative period in the entire history of our nation. We even want to do a lot more and this budget will cater for this."

He noted: "However, over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, led to heavy traffic on our roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.

"To address these challenges, the government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the Budget is approved (after appropriation or now?). The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than offset the revenue forgone by removing the tolls."

  • Gov't taxes MOMO transactions above GH¢100

Ken Ofori-Atta has announced the introduction of a 1.7% phone transactions levy payable by mobile money users per transaction above GH¢100.

The new levy, he said, will compensate for the abolishment of road tolls.

Ofori-Atta noted that the government has scrapped the amount of money being paid by motorists as tolls on public roads in the country.

Explaining the rationale behind the scrapping of the road tolls, the Minister said the revenue that accrues to the state for the construction and maintenance of roads is inadequate and hence, the government has to look elsewhere to equitably generate revenues for the construction and maintenance of our roads.

  • 5 interchanges to be constructed in the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan area

The government will construct five interchanges in the Kumasi Metropolitan area in Ashanti Region.

Some of the areas where the interchanges will be built are; Suame, Santasi, and Airport Roundabout.

The construction of the interchange follows work on the Pokuase, Tamale, and Obetsebi Interchanges.

"The Pokuase Interchange under the Accra Urban Transport Project which involves the construction of a 4-tier interchange, construction of 12km of selected roads, segregated walkways, footbridges, underpasses, and drainage structures were completed and commissioned on July 9, 2021," he said.

Ofori-Atta said other road projects to be constructed include "Kumasi South and Western Bypass, Kumasi Outer Ring Road, Mamfe-Koforidua Road, Oyibi-Dodowa-Somanya-Akuse Jn. Road, the Accra Outer Ring Road, Asutuare Junction-Volivo Bridge, Eastern Corridor Road (Gbintiri-Kulungugu), and the Sawla-Wa Road."

  • NaBCo recruits to enjoy one-year contract extension

The government has directed all beneficiaries of the Nation Builders' Corps (NaBCo) to remain at post for another year.

The government will through the initiative support the beneficiaries to gain access to capital, training, technical skills, and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses under the initiative.

Ofori-Atta said: "the NABCO programme was designed as a temporary stepping stone for young graduates for a period of three years. In the last three years, 100,000 young graduates have benefitted from the NABCO programme."

  • No wasteful tax exemptions

The government has said it is putting in place measures to handle wasteful tax exemptions going forward.

It has also announced that it will streamline the country's tax regime to prevent large companies from abusing tax exemptions.

With Ghana losing about 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP) annually through excessive tax allowances for companies operating in the free zones, the government said it is putting in place measures to handle wasteful tax exemptions.

The 3% flat rate of VAT on the supply of goods by wholesalers and retailers, which was introduced in 2017, will now be limited to retailers. All other supplies of goods and services will attract the standard rate.

Ken Ofori-Atta said "We wish to reiterate that we are in challenging times which require radical measures. So let us embrace these new policies to enable the government to address the fundamental issues affecting the economy; to ensure that, our nation continues to maintain its position."

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