• Politics

    ‘I gave Akufo-Addo “Apor” on Dumsor problem but… - Mahama

    John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has revealed issuing a stark warning against tampering with the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA), cautioning that such actions, could potentially plunge Ghana back into the era of power outages known as ‘dumsor.’

    The revelation came during a meeting with members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on Monday, April 8, 2024.

    Mahama, highlighted his advice to President Akufo-Addo, regarding the energy sector levy, emphasizing the critical need to preserve it to prevent a resurgence of the power crisis.

     “I advised President Akufo-Addo not to tamper with ESLA, as it could potentially reignite dumsor,” he remarked.

    The ESLA was introduced during Mahama’s administration in 2015 to stabilize Ghana’s energy sector amidst the power crisis.

    The levy, imposed on petroleum products and electricity consumption, aimed to address energy-related debts totalling GH¢14 billion by the end of 2020.

    However, under the Akufo-Addo government, ESLA was extended till 2035, accumulating over GH¢30 billion in revenue.

    The NDC flagbearer, also urged GUTA to press Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to eliminate certain nuisance taxes introduced by the current government.

    Mahama stressed the critical nature of the issue and called on Dr Bawumia, who also serves as the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to take immediate action, rather than wait until he is elected President.

    Dr Bawumia, in a previous address to Ghanaians on his presidential aspirations, outlined his plans to abolish various taxes, including the E-Levy, emissions tax, VAT on electricity, and the betting tax.

    However, Mahama cautioned GUTA members against placing blind trust in these assurances, urging them to hold Dr Bawumia accountable for his commitments.

    “Tell Bawumia to eliminate the E-Levy and other taxes now, not later,” Mahama emphasized during the meeting.

    He stressed the urgency of the matter and called on Dr Bawumia to take immediate action rather than waiting until assuming the presidency.

    In his address, Mahama outlined several key points concerning his agenda for the upcoming elections and his plans for Ghana’s economic future. These included commitments to modernize markets, create a stable macroeconomic environment for businesses, and institute reforms to ensure fiscal discipline.

    Moreover, Mahama expressed concerns about Ghana’s forex shortfalls due to declines in cocoa output and underinvestment in new oil fields. He pledged to pursue an aggressive agenda of import substitution and self-sufficiency while shifting focus from GDP to Gross National Product (GNP).

    Additionally, Mahama promised to establish measures such as an Independent Value for Money office to scrutinize government procurements and a National Apprenticeship program to empower youth with the necessary skills for job creation.

    Amidst his promises, Mahama addressed allegations, including claims of selling the Tema Port and clarified statements attributed to him, urging the public to focus on creating wealth before redistributing it.

    The meeting between Mahama and GUTA underscored critical economic and policy issues, setting the tone for discussions leading up to the December 2024 elections.


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