Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions push for tax exemptions
The Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association Limited is appealing to government to seriously consider exempting its members from paying taxes.
The call, according to the Board Chairman of the association, Dr. Bernard Bingab, was aimed at supporting and protecting investments.
Dr Bingab justified how other African countries had given tax reliefs to co-operatives describing the approach with which the Ghana Revenue Authority has been clamping down on its members as unwarranted.
He was speaking at the 55th anniversary of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association at Koforidua in the Eastern region.
“One of my biggest appeal to our government is tax exemptions for co-operatives. Almost all African countries exempt co-operatives from tax. In recent years Ghana Revenue Authority have clamped down on credit unions asking some to pay as high as ₵1 million. This is totally unwanted,” he said.
“This is a group that is there to help the country. Monies that we take as credit unions gets back to the poll so we have difficulty,” he stated.
The board chairman also called on government to strengthen its rules that govern the cyber security space to protect credit unions from cybercrimes whiles expanding opportunities in the technological space.
“As we navigate the future of credit unions, it is important to acknowledge that just as with any evolving industry, there are both threats and opportunities. The threat of cybercrimes is significant to us.
We have recently engaged the Cyber Security Authority to see how they can help us. As credit union we see the way to go is technology but there's a threat of cyber security,” he said.
The Minister of Pensions, Employment and Labour relations, Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah encouraged the credit unions to work closely with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority by setting up a trust scheme to enable informal sector operators save towards their future, since according to him, many of the members of the credit unions were informal sector operators.
“We have roughly twelve million people working in Ghana but those who are on pensions are less than two million which means that many of our people reach their pensions without being on any social security system,” Mr Awuah said.
The anniversary also coincided with the celebration of this year's International Credit Union day.