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Saturday, February 24, 2024

We’ve Made Progress In Formalising Economy – Bawumia

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

 

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said that there has been significant progress in the drive to move the Ghanaian economy from an informal one to a formal economy, which would catapult the economic transformation of the country.

Speaking at the 20th edition of the Ghana Club 100 Awards in Accra last Friday, Dr. Bawumia said, seven years ago when the government assumed office, the Ghanaian economy was largely informal, and for economic transformation to take place just as in many developed economies, there was the need to resolve age-long problems associated with the informal Ghanaian economy.

“When we came into office, we were facing some major challenges in the area of the informal economy,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“Before you can build an economy that is going to be transformational and policies that are going to be transformational, you need to take care of major problems that are in the informal economy.

“You look at an economy which in the informal sense turn to be undisciplined. The society is undisciplined because the economy is informal and there are no significant consequences for bad actions,” he pointed out.

The Vice President went on to list a number of ills associated with the then informal Ghanaian economy, which he said government has made significant progress in resolving them in the past seven years through effective digitised systems.

“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 society, identity fraud, that is people assuming the identities of others or fake identities, lack of address systems, age cheating, fake insurance, fake birth certificates, no passport, ghost workers on government payroll.

“These ills of the informal economy we really inherited, makes it difficult for the economy to transform to its potential. That is why we set out to formalise the economy to make sure that the economy worked on transparent systems. And that area of formalisation of the economy, we relied heavily on digitisation of the economy to formalise the economy,” he stressed.

Dr. Bawumia reiterated the significant and important role Ghana’s national biometric identity system, the Ghana Card, has played in the formalisation of the Ghanaian economy.

“Of course, the anchor for this digitalisation programme, has been the Ghana Card that we issued. And today, we have enrolled over 17 million people to the Ghana Card. We have linked all bank accounts to the Ghana Card, linked all SIM cards to the Ghana, your tax identification number is your Ghana Card, your NHIS number is your Ghana Card, we have linked the Ghana Card number to the Controller and Accountant General Department payroll.

“Today, we are seeing this increasing formalisation of the economy as a result of digitalisation and we are digitalising government services through Ghana.Gov and so on,” he added.

Stressing on government’s commitment to partnering with the private sector to thrive, Dr. Bawumia said formalising the Ghanaian economy is one of the ways to ensure a thriving sector.

“What all of this is doing is that it is bringing formalisation and transparency, and that helps businesses. It makes the systems clearer, it reduces corruption because you can apply for services, buy electricity, get a licence, get a passport, without going to meet anyone who will ask for bribe. This transformation will continue.”

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