In defiance of the Ministry of Finance's directive to suspend the controversial 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity, the Greater Accra Regional branch of Organised Labour of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) remains resolute in its decision to proceed with a planned protest.
On February 7, 2024, the Ministry of Finance issued instructions to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) to halt the implementation of the new tax policy until discussions with stakeholders, including Organised Labour, have taken place.
Despite this directive, the labour unions expressed their dissatisfaction, insisting on a complete repeal of the tax. Patrick Binyemi, a representative from the regional metro council of labour, outlined their plans for a nationwide demonstration on February 13 at a press conference in Accra.
“We will embark on a never-happened demonstration. This is scheduled for next week Tuesday, the 13th of February 2024. By this, we are calling on all organised labour members all over the Greater Accra region to be ready and prepared for this demonstration,” said Binyemi.
He detailed the protest route, stating, “On Tuesday at 6:30 am, we are all gathering at the Obra Spot, Circle, where we will proceed through the Kojo Thompson road to the Farisco traffic light. We will take a left to the TUC traffic light, then a right to the Polo Grounds along the Professor John Evans Atta Mills highway, that is the high street, and we will end at Independence Square or the Black Stars Square. Please let us take note.”
The planned protest includes various activities, with one notable action being the suspension of commercial vehicle operations on the day of the demonstration. Despite the Ministry's efforts to temporarily halt the VAT implementation, Organised Labour stands firm in its demand for a complete repeal, setting the stage for a significant demonstration in the Greater Accra region on February 13, 2024.