Gospel recording artist, Akesse Brempong, has waded into the discussion of the controversial E-levy as he noted that the government should listen to the voice of Ghanaians.
Sharing his opinion on the ongoing e-levy debate, Akesse Brempong explained that if the majority are kicking against the E-levy, then it suggests that the initiative might not work.
“Let the voice of the Ghanaian be heard… where the majority swing let us all swing there”.Akesse Brempong
In Akesse Brempong’s view, the majority of Ghanaians are kicking against the E-levy because, on several occasions, Ghanaians have been taxed; however, there are still “loopholes in the tax collection system”.
Akesse Brempong further speaking suggested that “Probably when we block those loopholes, it will give us more money than what we seek to make from e-levy. Can’t we look that way and block those loopholes?”. He concluded saying that “I think that largely, let the voice of the people be the voice of God”.
The introduction of the E-levy tax bill has met stiff opposition from several Ghanaians, who argue that it will further compound the hardship people are already facing in the country. The government, however, insists that the E-levy is necessary to expand the tax base for sustained development and reduce the debt burden.
Royalty collection is Heartbreaking- Akesse Brempong
In the same vein, the renowned gospel singer and worship leader, touched on the royalty system in Ghana describing it as heartbreaking.
The gospel singer, who claimed he has not received royalties for the past seven years, declared that Ghana is far behind in royalty collection for musicians and music right owners.
“When I think about the royalty collection and distribution systems in Ghana, I get heartbroken. I get heartbroken in the sense that the institution, the body; GHAMRO, has been in existence for a long time but it appears that systems-wise, we’re way behind”.Akesse Brempong
Credited with a number of hit songs and three albums, the gospel artist revealed that as a member of the collective society, “I have not received royalties for seven years”.
The royalty payment system in Ghana has been a major problem, which has hindered the growth of the industry, especially for musicians who are not able to get what’s due them because of structural challenges of royalty collection.
Ghana Music Right Organization (GHAMRO), over the years, has been hugely criticized for not putting in place the right structures to ensure effective collection and distribution of royalties to musicians.
There have been lots of discussions and complaints from some Ghanaian musicians that they have received little, or never received any money from the organization even though their songs are being played.
Some of the stakeholders of the music industry also opined that the organization has not lived up to expectations, even though the executives have explained that their biggest challenge has to do with acquiring the right software to track how songs are played on radio and television.