Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has highlighted the positive impact of the government’s digitalization agenda on the Ghanaian economy at the 20th Ghana Club 100 Awards.
The NPP flagbearer emphasized that the government’s digitalization agenda is tackling corruption in government services like passport acquisition and port clearance by reducing human intervention through the Ghana Card identity system.
Bawumia also recognized the crucial role of the private sector in economic development and reiterated the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Reflecting on the challenges posed by an informal economy characterized by indisciplined practices, Dr. Bawumia highlighted the various issues, including corruption, lawlessness, tax evasion, and identity fraud.
To counter these challenges and unlock the economy’s potential, Dr. Bawumia said the government embarked on a comprehensive formalization process, heavily relying on digitalization.
“You look at an economy in the informal sense, which turned out to be undisciplined; the society is undisciplined because the economy is informal and there are no consequences for bad actions; you have a society where corruption prevails; you have lawlessness; you have a tax-dodging society; you have an unbanked society; you have a loan repayment-dodging society; identity fraud; people assuming identities of others; a lack of address systems; age cheating; fake insurance; fake birth certificates; fake passports; no functional address systems; ghost workers on government payrolls.
“These ills of the informal economy that we really inherited made it very difficult for the economy to transform to its potential. That is why we set out to formalize the economy to make sure that it works in a transparent system. In that area of formalization of the economy, we focused heavily on the digitalization of the economy to formalize the economy.
“This is why we have been moving steadily, and we have made a lot of progress in this particular area. Of course, the anchor for the digitalization program has been the Ghana Card that we issued. Today, we have enrolled over 17 million people on the Ghana Card. Today, we linked all bank accounts to the Ghana Card and linked all SIM cards to the Ghana Card. TIN is your Ghana Card number, and NHIS is your Ghana Card number. Today, we linked the Ghana Card to the Controller and Accountant General Department payroll. Today we are increasing this formalization of the economy as a result of digitalization; we are digitalizing all government services through Ghana.gov.gh and so on.
“All these bring transparency, and that helps businesses; it makes the system clearer; it reduces corruption because you can get services without actually going to meet anybody who will demand a bribe.”