Founding President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has said that leadership requires that the leader carries his people along in all decisions and crucially accepts responsibility when things go wrong sometimes.
To that end, he says he has no doubt that the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia intends to carry everyone along with all his ideas or assets if he wins the presidency.
He however told Dr Bawumia to accept responsibility when things go wrong.
“I’m just unsure about him owning up to the wrongs- which is why I’m asking that he accepts the liabilities that will come along. I wish him well,” he wrote on his Facebook page while reacting to the address delivered by Dr Bawumia on Wednesday February 7.
He said “As far as yesterday’s big push for the presidency by Dr. Bawumia went, his resolve to build an inclusive society based on a value system that rewards hardwork, incorruptible behaviour, enhance business flourishing with simple taxes such as the flat tax, deepen public-private sector partnership to construct and manage critical infrastructure, ensure government’s efficiency with the very bold promise of 50 ministers and deputies, fight corruption through tighter procurement process, ensuring value for money in project management, adding value to our mineral resources are all significant game-changers.
“I had reservations about how he spent the first hour of his major outing as flagbearer to recount many of his achievements with the government, because we had heard them so many times. However, I thought even if he had to repeat the positives, he needed to be balanced, because quite frankly, charting a different path as he advertised his vision was, should include acknowledging some of the grave short comings such as innumerable instances of fiscal misbehaviour that made Ghana top all the inglorious macroeconomic leagues and sped up our journey to economic meltdown with its attendant negative life-changing impact through the debt exchange program—even if one were to account for the impact of Russian-UKRAINE war and covid-19.
“Praising the Bank of Ghana was particularly unnerving given the grave sins it committed in the creation of the biggest fiscal hole ever in Ghana’s history. He could have promised exacting some form of accountability with some troubling money wasting projects like the cathedral and suspicious multi-million dollar telecom, oil, gold revenue monitoring and assurance systems. Not long ago, Liberians lamented, that President Weah who promised to keep them in his pre-election photograph had taken them out of the picture after winning power. President Weah disagreed; he said the pre-election photograph was intact, and that it is Liberians who had taken themselves out of the photograph. He lost the bid to be re-elected.
“Leadership requires that you carry your people along in all decisions and crucially accepting responsibility when things go wrong sometimes because you or your colleague ministers may have overplayed your hands. I have no doubt Dr Bawumia intends to carry us along with all his ideas or assets if he wins the presidency, l’m just unsure about he owning up to the wrongs- which is why l’m asking that he accepts the liabilities that will come along. I wish him well.”
Dr Bawumia in his address said among other things that “To start the new tax system on a clean slate, my government will provide a tax amnesty, a complete exemption from the payment of taxes for a specified period, and the waiving of interest and penalties for up to a certain year to individuals and businesses for failures to file taxes in previous years so that everyone will start afresh.”
Dr Bawumia also stated categorically that he would abolish the tax on electronic financial transactions, e-levy, if elected President of Ghana.
The controversial tax was introduced in 2022, and prior to the introduction, Vice President Bawumia had declared his opposition to levies on electronic financial transaction in an interview.
Delivering his first major address to the nation after his election as NPP flagbearer, during which he gave broad policy outlines of a Bawumia Presidency, Dr. Bawumia minced no words in declaring his opposition to taxes on electronic financial transactions, declaring that he will abolish e-levy as President.
“To move towards a cashless economy, however, we have to encourage the population to use electronic channels payment. To accomplish this, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will therefore, be abolished,” he declared at the UPSA auditorium on February 7.
Dr. Bawumia also announced that as part of a new tax regime by his government, he will also abolish the emission tax, tax on betting as well as the proposed 15% VAT on electricity tariffs, if it is in existence by January 2025.
He also announced that his government would introduce what he described as a friendly, flat tax regime for Ghana, which will boost individuals and businesses, particularly small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).
“My administration will introduce a very simple, citizen and business-friendly flat tax regime. A flat tax of a percentage of income for individuals and SMEs, which constitute 98% of all businesses in Ghana, with appropriate exemption thresholds set to protect the poor,” Dr. Bawumia indicated.