FINANCIAL LITERACY Foundation Africa (FLFA), a non-governmental organization, has called on Government to resource the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to enable it formalize Ghana’s informal sector.
In a release issued recently, the NGO noted, “We urge the Government of Ghana (GoG) through the NBSSI to use the same importance it puts on finding funds for all expedient developmental needs, even in a time of global economic distress, to do same for the formalization of the informal sector.”
It continued that as a matter of priority, government must make funding available to the NBSSI to go through every district in all the 16 regions of Ghana through their over 100 business advisory centres (that work with all trader groups/associations, telcos, media houses, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade, NABCO, MMDAs, GRA and the Ministry of Local Government) to get data on all informal sector SMEs for proper economic planning and business development.
Noting that this will aid the informal sector to take its rightful place for Ghana to indeed become a “Country Beyond Aid”, it added that “this will change our GDP composition, construct, strengthen our economic transformation agenda and make Ghana a first world economy across the Sub-Saharan Region.”
“If this urgent call to action is heeded, Ghana’s Informal Sector Pension will change from the current abysmal level of about 1% coverage to the same levels of the formal sector’s tiers 1&2. Same change will be true of micro insurance, micro credit and health insurance.”
It continued, “Let Ghana begin and show continental leadership in getting 100% data on the informal sector for real economic transformation.”
The NGO added that real government social intervention programmes like the CAP BuSS, Free SHS et al, “will be rightly targeted and our country fiscal stance will spare us the usual recurring deficits occasioned by revenue shortfalls. Ghana cannot fail to take advantage of this golden opportunity in these challenging Covid-19 moments.”
FLFA noted also that government’s digitalization agenda of transforming the economy through informal sector formalization with the national digital address system, mobile interoperability, QR Code, national identity card et al would be meaningless without a commitment to such request.
“As we celebrate our Republic Day today, Ghana cannot claim real independence, if the biggest contributors to our GDP are not financially independent,” it said.