President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said one of the surest ways by which the government can raise money to finance development projects is taxation.
“We ourselves will have to find the money for our development, and that is the reason it has become necessary for us to introduce the famous tax which has caused so much disputation,” he said.
The introduction of the Electronic Levy (E-Levy), he said, was necessary for the government, since the country could not continue forever to be dependent on foreign grants and loans to keep the economy going.
Speaking during a courtesy call on him by traditional leaders from the Dzodze Traditional Area in the Volta Region at the Jubilee House in Accra last Tuesday, the President said he was determined to ensure that the government found the means to address some of the issues.
“Government does not have money of its own; taxing the people is the only way government raises money to be able to carry out its work. But as a government, we will continue to work hard,” he said.
Purpose of visit
The Dzodze traditional leaders, accompanied by the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa; the Ketu North Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Anthony Avorgbedor, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bui Power Authority, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, were at the seat of government to congratulate President Akufo-Addo on his victory in the 2020 general election, thank him for his leadership and express their satisfaction with the achievements of his government.
It was the second time the chiefs from Dzodze were visiting the Presidency, the first being in 2020, in the heat of the electioneering.
The President said it was no secret that public finances had been difficult for the government, and that in 2020 and last year revenue went down considerably because of the slowing down of economic activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, he said, the government, in order to keep the country going, had to incur additional expenditure for the free water and electricity and the provision of free food, which were all unavoidable expenditures and efforts that the government had to make to try and close the gap.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the chiefs for the congratulatory messages and support and promised to personally follow up, particularly on the upgrading of the community vocational and technical school, as well as the construction of the Dzodze town roads.
The President, who again described himself as a suitor of the Volta Region yet to be accepted, asked the chiefs to give the issue some thought because “the people you have married do not seem to bring any development to you, but you continue to marry them, while I, who you have not married, am the one in a position to help you but I continue to have problems in the Volta Region”.
He told the traditional leaders that it was time once again for them to look at that matter closely and expressed the hope that “God willing, changes will come”.
President Akufo-Addo was grateful for the support of the traditional leaders and lauded Mr Dzamesi and Mr Avorgbedor for their hard work and sense of responsibility which, he said, made them useful to his government.
Dzodze water system
The Leader of the delegation, Torgbui Dey III, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to see to the expansion of the Dzodze water system, saying the population of the area had outgrown the capacity of the present water system.
He said Dzodze had suffered from an age-old water crisis until the water system was built to provide a helpline for all the people.
He, however, said since about a year ago when the system broke down, there had not been funds to undertake repair works on the system, thereby making it difficult for the indigenes to access potable water.
Torgbui Dey said efforts at getting the relevant agencies to resolve the matter had proved futile.
He also asked the President to construct a modern market in Dzodze to accommodate the growing population, since economic activities at the current market could no longer contain the pressure within the southern Volta enclave, especially with the siting of the ECOWAS border at Akanu.
He further asked that roads in the traditional area be constructed and completed, while the Dzodze Community Technical and Vocational School should also be upgraded for it to realise its objective of providing skills for the youth and minimise unemployment in the traditional area.