Why the National Democratic Congress(NDC) Members of Parliament remain burnt on ensuring that the e-levy introduced by Government during the 2022 budget reading would not see the light of day has become clear.
Former President John Dramani Mahama has reportedly threatened retribution against any Member of Parliament of the NDC who dares break rank to support the passage of the e-levy bill.
At a retreat at an Ada Resort over the weekend, ahead of the start of first meeting of this year’s Parliamentary session, Insiders say the former President stressed the importance of the NDC MPs making sure that the e-levy bill was not passed by the House.
He cited for example that one of the reasons that took him and the NDC into opposition in 2016, was the inability of his government to manage the economy, thereby having to seek the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The former President is reported to have stated that, as a result, the NPP propaganda machine went into over-drive, labelling him (President Mahama) and the NDC as incompetent, a message which sunk into the minds of Ghanaians, one which from which neither he nor the NDC have fully recovered from.
“President Mahama feels now is the time to exact revenge”, the source told the paper, especially as the introduction of the e-levy will mean the Akufo-Addo Government will have the much-needed financial muscle not only to balance the books, but also to carry out ‘unprecedented’ infrastructural development which has the potential to keep the NDC in opposition for a long time”, the source added.
As a result, the former President, vividly agitated at the meeting by this prospect, made it unequivocally clear that the NDC has no choice but to oppose vehemently the passage of the e-levy for their own survival.
“Akufo-Addo and his government must also be said to have mismanaged the economy so they can also go to the IMF. We cannot allow the rhetoric of COVID-19 and its effects, even if true, to be used to convince Ghanaians about the difficulties the country is facing,” the former President is alleged to have said.
Already, prior to the address by the former NDC leader, some NDC MPs were said to have “come around”, and were ready to support the passage of the bill, as its benefits to the nation were immense.
“After President Mahama’s speech, it had become clear to some of the level-minded MPs, though in very small numbers, that the opposition they were being told to mount against the e-levy was not because of their love for the masses of Ghanaians, but rather for the survival of the NDC.
Former President Mahama then proceeded to instruct the Minority Leader and the Minority Chief Whip to ensure that on the day of sitting for the passage of the e-levy, all 137 NDC MPs must be present without fail.
The former President stated that any NDC MP who breaks rank with the party, and “dares” to vote for the e-levy will be exposed and will face “retribution” from both the party, both at the constituency and social media levels.
Sources present at the meeting told this paper that President Mahama made it clear that no MP who breaks rank will survive the politics of the NDC, as that person should kiss his or her political career good bye.
Even though it was met with strong applause from the NDC leadership and some MPs, some NDC MPs present were not amused by the open-nature the threats that had been issued by the former President.
Revenues from the levy will support government’s road constructions, employment for the youth and support the infrastructure of digital services, as well as helping entrepreneurship.
Revenue from the levy will be also be mobilised by the government, through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), that shall collect the E-Levy with the telecommunication agencies, financial technologies and financial institutions.
The E-levy is good for revenue mobilisations.