Gov’t Rakes GH¢675.6 Million Tax From MTN Mobile Money

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….Subscribers To Earn Interest Soon

By Gifty Arthur

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of mobile telecommunication giant; MTN, Ebenezer Twum Asante, has announced that subscribers of Mobile Money on its network, would soon earn interest on their monies, as happens to savings at the banks.

MTN Mobile Money, is gradually shaping up to be the easiest, fastest and most reliable means of sending money to people across the country. Indeed, most banks, are now operating the facility presently in the country.

Mr. Twum Asante, disclosed that measures are being put in place and immediately they are completed, subscribers will start getting interests on their money from the network. He described the service as the fastest growing “…new kid on the block”.

MTN Mobile Money, which has 6 million registered subscribers, has some 35, 000 merchants nationwide as at February 2016.
He revealed, Mobile Money, contributed 6 percent of MTN’s annual revenue for 2015. In the year under review, MTN paid a tax of GH¢675.6Million to Government of Ghana (GoG) as against GH¢605, 000 in 2014.

The CEO, made the announcement, when MTN met with stakeholders to brief them on it programme of activities for last year, and it plans for year; 2016.

MTN Ghana, which has the highest subscriber base; 57 percent share of the market as at 2015, added more than one million subscribers last year alone, making it total subscription stand at 16 million.

According to the MTN boss, this has been made possible because, the brand is focused on introducing innovations to make customers happy.

The telecommunication organization, which organizes a lot of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, said it would in the coming years, pay attention to the rural areas with the support of Ghana Investment for Electronic Communications (GIFEC).

The company has said, it would by the middle of this year roll out the 4g service, following it successful acquisition of the right, last year.

It will be recalled that early December, the National Communication Authority (NCA), auctioned the right to the telecommunication giant, despite aggressive opposition by groups such as the ICT Chamber, which wanted the right to be given to local companies.

According to the Chamber’s spokesperson, Paul Adom Otchere, these companies which he described as very capable of buying and running the facility, were going to lose some US$200Million, being the money they have invested in their companies for the right.

Mr. Twum Asante, said his outfit completed paying US$67.5 million to the regulator for the 4g right in January, this year, and by June, MTN, will join three others, Surfline, Blu Telecom, and Busy Ghana, which have started rolling out the 4g service.

It has set aside, US$18 million to carry out the programme. He pleaded with government to remove the Stabilization Levy it reinstated in July 2013 to ease the pressure on organizations such as MTN, immediately the Ghanaian economy stabilizes.

Government in 2013, following the imposition of the levy promised it was going to keep it for only 18 months, but it is still in existence after almost three years. Under this levy banks, insurance companies and breweries and telecommunication companies were to be levied 5 percent of their profit before tax.

“When it was introduced, it was called stabilization fund or stabilization levy and what we are saying is as soon as the economy stabilizes, we are appealing to government to consider waving it, Mr. Twum Asante pleaded.

On calls to MTN to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), he said the company was not focused on that for now, adding that will be part of a long term plan.

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