The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has heaped praised on President Akufo-Addo for reviewing taxes and levies being paid by various entities in Ghana.
According to him, the move by government to address tax concerns will serve as an incentive for entrepreneurs in the country to expand existing businesses with several ones springing up.
"I met with your great president (Nana Akufo-Addo), and his commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and the larger private sector in your country is nothing short of admirable. I was impressed by his plans to support small businesses and attract, retain private sector investments by abolishing various stifling bureaucracies and policies in the system," he said.
He made the comment on Tuesday, March 14, as he addressed a gathering of students at the University of Ghana, Legon.
During the reading of the budget statement on Thursday, 2 March, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, mentioned, among other things, the scrapping of excise duty on petroleum products. The government also intends to reduce the special petroleum tax rate on petrol from 17.5% to 15%.
Other taxes that will be completely abolished include the following:
1. The 1% special import levy
2. The 17.5% VAT on financial services
3. The 17.5% VAT on selected imported medicines not produced locally
4. The 17.5% VAT on domestic airline tickets
5. The 5% VAT on real estate sales
6. Duty on importation of spare parts
Also, the 17.5% VAT imposed on traders has been replaced with a 3% flat rate, while businesses that employ young graduates from tertiary institutions will get tax credits and other incentives.
Furthermore, there will be tax incentives for young entrepreneurs while the Corporate Income Tax will be progressively reduced from 25% to 20% in 2018.
Speaking at the seminar on the topic: "Africapitalism and Entrepreneurship", Mr Elumelu pointed out: "Young people of Ghana have every reason to be optimistic. The future is bright and your country appears to be in the safe hands of capable leaders to transform your economy."
The founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which provides seed funding for budding businesses across Africa, charged African entrepreneurs to mentor young talented business-minded Africans, adding: "Any society that invests time and resources to young entrepreneurs will be a great nation."
Mr Elumelu, the proponent of the concept of Africapitalism
said it is not enough for any individual to build wealth, insisting: "Wealth is valueless if it cannot have a positive impact on the lives of others."
The Tony Elumelu Foundation has supported thousands of entrepreneurs in Africa with 79 Ghanaians being beneficiaries of the last programme.
The foundation will soon announce 1000 individuals who will benefit from its US$100 million sponsorship programme this year.