It is a case of different strokes for different folks as members of Ghanaian Parliament argued intensely over a proposal to introduce a tax of 1.75% on electronic transactions which includes mobile-money payments.

This is unlike in Nigeria where a levy on electronic money transfers has been introduced over the years by various amendments to its stamp duty regime. 

Arguments in the Ghanaian Parliament broke out so intensely that it snowballed into a fight  where members of parliament shoved, pushed, and threw punches at each other, while others tried to stop the fighting

Proponents of the tax in Ghana had expressed that the tax was needed to shore up government revenue

The genesis of the chaos

The chaos according to local media reports started after opposition MPs rushed forward to prevent Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu from leaving his seat to vote as his vote will play a key role in deciding if the bill should fly.

This confrontational move started after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has rejected the proposed levy on electronic transactions. The rejection is with the rationale that the move will hit low-income people and those outside the formal banking sector

Explaining the need to implement the additional tax, Ghanaian Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Artta has said it is necessary to widen the tax net, arguing that it could raise an extra 6.9bn Ghanaian cedi ($1.15bn; £870m) in 2022.

What you should know

  • Ghanaian politics has been fractious since last year’s election when the NDC and the NPP obtained 137 parliamentary seats each.
  • One seat is held by an independent, who has thrown his weight behind the NPP, giving it the edge.

Click below to see clips of the rowdy session

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