Pius Enam Hadzide, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Authority (NYA), has criticized the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for opposing the 10% gambling tax.
He claimed that the Minority Caucus Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, had advocated for the outlawing of all types of gambling, thus, the NDC should cease what it is doing.
The government’s decision to impose a 10% betting tax as part of its efforts to increase income, has drawn criticism and alarm. The NDC youth wing launched a series of actions in a statement signed by the National Youth Organizer, George Opare Addo, to pressure the government to remove the 10% betting tax. The party made the choice in reaction to what it sees as an onerous taxation regime that unfairly affects the nation’s youth and the larger gambling industry.
Pius Hadzide stated, “I’m pretty much scandalised listening to NDC, with the impression they are creating. If there is a problem with employment, in NDC’s view, young people should resort to betting as a means of resolving whatever challenges young people are confronted with?…I’m scandalised.”
“Let me just place it on record that, it is not just the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who has issues with betting and what betting can do to the value system of any country. Even the Minority Leader, Ato Forson has called on the state to ban all forms of betting.”Pius Hadzie
Additionally, the NDC was criticized by the CEO of NYA for encouraging young people to rebel against the state.
“The young people are being prepared for the future and if you want to lead the country, you should be discussing policies and not that because there are hardships, so young people should resort to betting; a game of luck, a game of chance. And that we are not going to encourage the Ghanaian youth who is hardworking, or an entrepreneur, by the way, to continue to work hard.”Pius Hadzie
Additionally, Pius Hadzide acknowledged that youth unemployment is a problem in Ghana, as it is in other developing nations, yet, he insisted that the government is taking steps to address it.
“I do admit that just like other developing countries, there are challenges, youth unemployment, issues of education, issues of health…for the first time in this country, the young people of this country are now getting hope. Today, due to free SHS, hundreds of thousands of young people whose future would have been truncated at the basic level, are now in secondary schools.”Pius Hadzie
NDC To Intensify Pressure On Gov’t In Goal To Withdraw Bet Tax
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has decided to once again plan a series of protests to pressure the government to repeal the 10% gambling tax.
The tax, according to the party, is unfair and would simply add to the burden and the nation’s young people’s already precarious economic situation.
Osman Ayariga, the NDC’s Deputy Youth Organizer, urged the government to address its negligence, which he claimed caused widespread hardship, rather than shifting the burden of its financial mess onto the younger generation.
He reaffirmed the opposition NDC’s commitment to using all legal tools at its disposal to force the government to reverse its course of action.
“We are all going through hardship due to the recklessness and incompetence of this government, and we will be showing a roadmap on what we are going to do to press upon this government to rescind its decision, so far as the 10 percent tax on bet earnings is concerned.
“We are going to picket at the Ministry of Finance and occupy government offices across the country, start and scale up nationwide conventional and unconventional and lawful agitations as a measure of resistance and instigate young people to confront officials of this government to demand an end to the corruption and insensitivity of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia failed brigade.”Osman Ayariga
He also refuted the claim made by the majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, that youth who gamble are slothful. Osman Ayariga emphasized that the lack of competency on the part of the administration and the resulting hardship are to blame for the youths love for gambling.
“The youth of Ghana are hardworking, and it is only an incompetent government that will say Ghanaian youth are lazy. So, let it not be said anywhere that the youth of Ghana are lazy. The youth are suffering due to the incompetence of this administration because it has failed to provide jobs for the youth and the bet they engage in, is the effect of the government’s inability to provide jobs for the youth. And we in the NDC are here for the youth, and we will stand with them.”Osman Ayariga