Following government’s proposal to introduce a Sanitation and Pollution Levy of 10 pesewas on the price per litre of petrol/diesel under the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA), some sections of the public have welcomed the idea while others have kicked against it.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business, who announced this on Friday in the government’s budget presentation to Parliament, said the levy would help provide the requisite resources to fund other activities of sanitation and pollution.
Although there is progress made in the areas of sanitation and pollution, the government said there is still a lot more to be done.
According to the government, the Sanitation and Pollution Levy will “Improve urban air quality and combat air pollution, support the re-engineering of landfill sites at Kpone and Oti, support fumigation of public spaces, schools, health centres and markets, revamp/reconstruct poorly managed landfill facilities, construct more sustainable state-of-the-art waste treatment plants both solid and liquid in selected locations across the country.”
The 10 pesewas levy will also provide dedicated support for the annual maintenance and management of major landfill sites and other waste treatment plants and facilities across the country, and construct medical waste treatment facilities to prevent the generation of infectious diseases especially under the Coronavirus Treatment Programme.
Government is of the hope that the investments is critical for the benefit and dignity of Ghanaians and would ensure sustainable sanitation management, improve the quality of life and reduce the number of deaths and diseases from poor sanitation.
However, some section of the public believes the introduction of the Sanitation and Pollution Levy is just an avenue by the government to enrich themselves.
A trader, madam Akos said “this government is only interested in taxing, everyday tax, tax, tax, what is the tax being used for? They only use our monies to drive in big cars, that is all. This levy is just to enrich them.”
Another woman sitting by this trader agrees with her and added “there is no need to tax us before keeping the country clean but because the government is insensitive to our suffering, they want to tax us more to continue living their lavish lifestyle.”
But madam Ayoo said “if the government will take the money and use it for what it is promising, I don’t have a problem. We all want Ghana to be clean so if it will mean that the government tax us to ensure the country is clean, why not?”
Another trader said “since the government has promised to keep Ghana clean, we will also support him to make it clean, we all want Ghana to be clean.”