Former Minister of Information and current Managing Director of the Intercity State Transport Company (STC), Nana Akomea, has praised Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia over Ghana’s digitalisation drive.
Speaking on the Kokrokoo Morning Show on Peace Fm, Akomea said the digital agenda spearheaded by the Vice President has put Ghana on a trajectory that is far ahead of other African countries and at par with the advanced countries of the world.
He said Dr Bawumia is literally ‘changing the [Ghanaian] society’ with his digital drive.
Nana Akomea was speaking on the current state of Ghana and said despite perceived challenges, there is still a lot to be grateful for.
He pointed to Ghana’s unrivalled safety and security in comparison to other African countries and also, the digitalisation agenda.
“We are very stable. We are one of the most stable countries in West Africa, if not Africa. We have peace in this country. When you look at our tourism figures, it’s overwhelming. We have stability and security. We are modernizing rapidly. When you look at the digitization programme by Dr. Bawumia, it is changing the society,” Nana Akomea said.
He added: “We are ahead of other African countries by far and now, in the world economy, if you don’t become digital; you will die. We are moving very, very quickly on this digital [economy]. When you take our security, we have maintained the peace and security and stability of this country…These are all very good news that you can’t even calculate its value.”
The Digital Agenda
Ghana has embarked on a digital drive since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government took over power in 2017, with Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as its main proponent.
The Vice President argues that digitalisation is the only way for underdeveloped nations to fix the perennial problem of domestic revenue shortfall.
“Many developing countries have found it difficult to reach high levels of domestic revenue mobilisation because their economies are characterised by a number of features. For these developing countries that we’re talking about, in the presence of these characteristics…you can have as many tax laws or tax increases as you want but you’re unlikely to achieve the goals of a significant increase in domestic revenue mobilisation,” Dr Bawumia said during a speech at the 10th annual International Tax Conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana.
“Our goal as a government on the assumption of office was to quickly transform our economy by leveraging on technological innovations as a means to leapfrog the development process, overcome legacy problems, and improve both economic and public sector governance.
“This is why we have focused on digitalisation to build this new system, this machinery that can address this problem of domestic revenue mobilisation. You need to have a machinery that is integrated that addresses these shortcomings….” he added.
Digitalisation has addressed these issues by widening the tax net via the Ghana card, which now serves as a tax identification number for every Ghanaian, widening the property tax net through the digital address system and other innovations.
Meanwhile digitising operations at state agencies such as the DVLA and the Passport Office has seen an exponential jump in revenue generation whilst eliminating the role of corrupt middlemen.
Ghost names eliminated from the SSNIT payroll have saved the nation Ghc 320 million at SSNIT alone.
Digitisation of operations at the Passport office alone increased revenues to the state from GHC1.1m in 2017 to a current figure circa GHC56.7m.
Similarly, the DVLA increased year-on-year revenues by 100% from 2019 to 2020 following the introduction of digitalisation.