A cross-section of University of Ghana Students have kicked against the decision by telecommunication companies in Ghana to hike charges for their services following a review of the VAT and NHIL calculation by the government.
“I think it’s not the best idea, because some are students and it can’t be so that they will increase the price for credit and bundle and a whole lot, we are not working, and to even buy airtime for stuff like downloading, we are in school so it wouldn’t favor us, so I am not in support” stated a visibly unhappy student.
Another lamented the seeming monopoly enjoyed by the major telecommunication companies noting that
“We’d be forced to buy it, even though we wouldn’t want to but then we are forced to because there are no other means of making a call. I think the three of them enjoy a monopoly so if you don’t buy from them who will you buy from.”
He added that if there’s an opportunity to appeal against this decision, then that should be done for the decision to be rescinded;
“but if they won’t, we have no option.”
Effective November 1, users of MTN, AirtelTigo, and Vodafone will be charged higher when they use services provided for by these telecommunication networks.
This decision, they claim follows the amendments of the VAT law which delinks NHIL and GETFund levies from the VAT.
A statement signed CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey said the networks will pass on the cost of the new levies to their consumers which will result in the increase of the cost of telecommunication services.
“The objective was to “give effect to the conversion of NHIL and GETFL into levies that are not subject to the input-output mechanism, and delinking them from VAT by removing the option of input tax deductibility,” thereby giving both levies a unique and different legal identity and distinguished from VAT,” the statement added.
Since this decision was communicated to the general public, it has been received with mixed feelings of the Ghanaian public.
By: Kwaku Asante Bismark/universnewsroom