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Government has given new dates for the introduction of the National Identification (ID) cards and the Inter-operability payment system.

The issuance of National I.D cards to citizens and non-Ghanaian residents is set to begin from next month, while the Inter-operability system takes off in May.

The two projects were originally scheduled to commence before December last year but was postponed due to some challenges.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia gave the new deadlines when he delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the Ghana-Norway Business Forum in Accra yesterday.

The two initiatives form part of the government’s plans to pursue a deliberate path of building institutional reforms through digitisation and the use of electronic platforms.

Electronic platforms introduced in the past year are online registration, certification and renewal of business licenses, and the introduction of a digital address system with unique postal code for every five by five metre location within the country.

The paperless port system, an electronic process of transacting business to ensure efficiency at the ports has also been activated.

As economies become more sophisticated and transactions more complex, the ability to develop the information base that supports a comprehensive tax system is central to building a strong nation.

While this may not be an obvious area of private sector investment, the potential is enormous as governments begin to adopt technology to overcome information problems and to build the kind of database that identifies individuals, tags immovable properties, as an information ecosystem for economic management, Dr. Bawumia said.

In the light of the challenges in land acquisition and administration in the country, the Vice President noted that the government had begun the process of digitalising all land records to make land searches, acquisition and title registration hassle-free.

“Two weeks ago we held a stakeholder conference on land administration here in Accra and we are looking forward to some major reforms in this area,” he said.

“Building these types of information infrastructure should help eliminate the many bottlenecks and human interfaces that impede easy access and acquisition of key documents required for smooth operations of businesses and investors,” he added.

The introduction of electronic and digitised platforms to address institutional challenges forms part of a broader strategic approach to deliver on the government’s vision of building a Ghana beyond Aid, according to Dr. Bawumia.

Other strategic anchors aimed at delivering on the Ghana beyond Aid promise, he said, were plans to build good working infrastructure, real sector growth, and efforts aimed at dealing with corruption.

On efforts to build good working infrastructure, the Vice President said the government was committed to partnering the private sector to fund new infrastructure investment and added that infrastructure development presented attractive opportunities for investors.

Public-Private Partnerships are emerging vehicles of investment in urban infrastructure such as power generation, transmission and distribution, urban water systems, housing and transportation (rail and vehicular).

To this end, Ghana is taking steps in developing the framework of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy framework outlining the governance modalities of PPP is currently underway and is expected to become law by mid-2018. We are particularly in a hurry to develop our railway networks through various PPP arrangements, he said.

Vice President Bawumia touched on the government’s plans to add value to the country’s agricultural commodities and mineral resources and indicated that the over-reliance on the exports of raw cocoa beans and unprocessed minerals had not been very beneficial in stimulating growth and other wide-ranging job creation opportunities.

Rather, that strategy had made our economies more and more vulnerable and dependent on the fluctuations in global commodity trends; he said and added that the periodic growth spurt when commodity prices were on the uptick was not the way to build a resilient economy.

In the area of dealing with corruption, the Vice President said the introduction of an Office of Special Prosecutor formed part of the many initiatives to deal with corrupt practices in the country.

He expressed the government’s commitment to get the Right to Information law passed.

Source: Ghanaian Times

Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2018

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