Ghana’s deputy minister of communications raised the prospect of imposing a tax on the country’s burgeoning mobile money industry, GhanaWeb reported, with indications it would be targeted at operators rather than subscribers.

In an interview, George Andah said the government was reviewing its options, but he believed the focus should be a levy on commissions made by operators from mobile money services. He added authorities had not yet discussed whether there should also be a levy on subscribers.

Rumours of impending mobile mobile money-specific taxes have emerged a number of times over the last two years and have been greeted with backlash from operators, opposition politicians and other groups.

Increased interest in the sector from officials comes as Ghana’s mobile money industry continues to record rapid growth.

Bank of Ghana figures show the number of registered mobile money accounts increased 36 per cent year-on-year to 32.6 million in 2018. The number of registered agents was up more than 100 per cent to 397,000, while the value of transactions processed increased 43 per cent to GHS223 billion ($42.5 billion).

Services are provided by AirtelTigo along with the local units of MTN and Vodafone.