President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that his first four years in office saw unprecedented progress at formalising the economy, more than has ever been experienced since independence, and his new administration is poised to do more to accelerate economic growth.
“After four years in office, I am happy to state that there has been more progress in formalising the Ghanaian economy than there was in the previous 60 years since independence,” the president said while presenting the 2021 State of the Nation Address to Parliament.
Explaining his conviction, President Akufo-Addo said: “For the first time, we have enrolled 15.5 million people onto the National ID card system (the Ghanacard), and we will complete the process this year. From 1st April, and this is not an April Fool’s prank, all National ID numbers will become Tax Identification Numbers (TIN). In so doing, the number of people registered by GRA for tax purposes will increase from the current three million (3 million) to 15.5 million.
“I should recall that at the end of 2016, only 750,000 people had TIN numbers. The increase to 15.5 million in just four years is simply phenomenal. Similarly, from the 2nd Quarter of this year, all National ID numbers will also become SSNIT numbers.
“This will increase the number of people on the SSNIT database from 4 million to 15.5 million. The National ID numbers will also become NHIS numbers. Very soon we will link the National ID to all SIM cards, bank accounts, Births and Deaths Registry, DVLA and passports,” the president told the nation.
He indicated that these moves are geared at making access to state services convenient and devoid of corruption. “We have also digitised the operations of many government institutions including the ports, NHIS, DVLA, GRA and the Passport Office. One of the most dramatic examples of this development has been the ability of SSNIT to pay pensions within 10 days of application, as opposed to the endless delays of the past.”
He added that: “To make it easy to obtain government services, a portal – Ghana.Gov – has been established where all MMDAs are being onboarded. It is a one-stop-shop where anyone can apply for and pay for government service. We expect to complete the onboarding of all MMDAs this year, and in so doing significantly enhance efficiency and reduce the cost for delivery of government services to our people”.
The president said for the first time, through the implementation of the Digital Property Addressing System, every location in Ghana has a digital address – adding that the process of affixing unique property address plates for some 7.5 million properties in all sixteen regions has also started.
He noted that government’s digitalisation agenda gave keen attention to the financial sector as a means to attract funds. Due to the efforts geared at this, for the first time in Ghana more than 70 percent of the population has access to financial services either through a bank account or a mobile money account, he added.
“We have been able to do so through the implementation of mobile money interoperability (between bank accounts and mobile wallets), with Ghana as the first and only country in Africa to have done so. It is therefore not surprising that Ghana is the fastest-growing mobile money market in Africa.
“Furthermore, our successful introduction of the Universal QR (Quick Response) CODE for payments across banks, telcos, fintechs and merchants will propel Ghana to be among the first countries in Africa (if not the first) to move toward a largely cashless economy, when fully rolled out across the country with support from the Bank of Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo intimated.