E-Commerce Will Save Ghana Post -Victoria Hamah

Deputy Minister-designate for the Ministry of Communications has proposed to the management of the Ghana Post to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that Information Communication Technology (ICT) has brought to the global market and improve on their operations in order to maximize profit.

For instance, she said the ailing Ghana Post, the nation’s number one courier service, could team up with internet-based shops like Amazon to revamp their services and meet the timely demands of their customers in their 230 offices spread across the country.

‘As a student studying masters via the internet, sometimes you need books and you will have to go through certain challenges to acquire the books. Ghana Post can take the businesses in this regard and connect with e-commerce, with businesses on the internet, with shops on the internet, so that when people live in Ghana, even in the rural communities, they can assist Ghana Post for it to be the link so that they can have these books, especially with AMAZON, delivered to them at their doorsteps,’ she noted.

Another business model she proposed was for Ghana Post to take the innovative concept of video conferencing by linking up with the educational institutions since a lot would want to venture into distance learning.

The 32 year old gender activist made these observations when she appeared before the Appointments Committee to answer to questions on her nomination as deputy Minister-designate for the Ministry of Communications.

She was among the 35 persons nominated by President John Dramani Mahama for various deputy ministerial positions in his administration.

The one-time number one courier service is on the blink of collapse as a result of the advent of internet and telecommunications services.

Its bulk business, which was the transfer of letters has today become irrelevant due to the use of mobile phones and social media sites like skype, facebook, yahoo messenger, linkedIn, stumbleUpon and twitter, among many others in sending instant messages.

Another challenge confronting Ghana Post is the influx of private businesses in the distribution of letters and other parcels across the length and breadth of the country.

But despite these, the nominee said all was not lost since Ghana Post could be revamped to make it a profit making venture.

She told the Hon. Ebo Barton-Odro led Committee that there is lack of comprehensive regulation regulating private entities in the distribution of letters and parcels across the country.

She promised to collaborate effectively with the sector minister to ensure that the activities of local players in the courier business were properly regulated to mobilize more tax revenue for the government.

‘There is lack of comprehensive regulations when it comes to the distribution of letters and parcels. A lot of individuals that are providing these services are not constituted in a proper business way, so, they do not even pay taxes to the Ghana Government.

We can have some regulations that can monitor and I think all these businesses could come to Ghana Post and to increase their revenue base,’ she proposed.

Global cooperation needed to fight cyber fraud
Commenting on what could be done to combat cyber fraud, commonly known as ‘Sakawa’ in the local language; the nominee said that was a global challenge which would require coo peration among member countries.

‘We must have global cooperation to fight ‘sakawa’ – Ghana, Nigeria and the rest – there must be a way to fuse technology and fuse security that include manpower resources, knowledge-base in these areas because the internet goes beyond countries. Somebody sits in Dansoman and is communicating with somebody in Tokyo. So, international cooperation in terms of security is very important,’ she emphasized.