Nigeria has opportunity to emerge as a digital powerhouse

Nigeria - digital
powerhouse

SAP delves into
country's opportunity.

ITWeb Africa

Monday, Sep 23rd

Malawi introduces 1% tax on mobile money transactions (story) Inbox 	x Michael Malakata 	 10:16 AM (5 minutes ago) 	 to me  By Michael Malakata  Malawi’s minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha is under fire for introducing a 1% withholding tax on all mobile money transactions.  In his 2019/2020 national budget presentation to parliament recently, Mwanamvekha said the tax will ensure that more people are motivated to contribute towards national building through paying of taxes and ensure that government has a scope to improve service delivery.  But people are worried that the tax threatens the financial inclusion agenda that the government has been pushing as the cost of mobile money transactions will likely be raised by mobile money operators.    A law lecturer at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College Sunduzwayo Madise said instead of using mobile money services to empower the unbanked or underbanked, the tax will now disempower them.  Madise said it looks like the government has changed or abandoned the agenda on the use of mobile money as a tool to get more Malawians on the financial bandwagon.  Madise was quoted by the local Nation newspaper saying “on one hand, mobile money service was touted by the government as a solution to empower rural people but on the other hand, the system has now decided to plot against the very people it should empower and will take from them the little that they have and fill up the tax purse.”  And Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito said the introduction of the tax is a war against the poor.  “This is an insult that has come in this budget, which as consumers, we feel it is targeted at punishing the most vulnerable groups who are mostly in rural areas doing small businesses,” Kapito said.  Latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi shows that as of June 2019, the total number of registered mobile money subscribers was 7 million with only 37.4% of the subscribers using the service during the second quarter of this year.  The report also show that there are 45, 929 mobile money agents 81.1% located in urban and semi-urban areas while 18.9% are in rural areas.

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