Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged CEOs of Government agencies and private businesses to embrace the digitisation agenda and infuse into their business operations, innovative digital technology to drive business evolution in the country.
The Vice President encouraged the business leaders to focus on building sustainable businesses and help build an economy that will be resilient even in the face of unpredictable occurrences such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vice President Bawumia said this at the 5th Ghana CEOs Summit in Accra on Monday, 17th May, where he said it was imperative to reignite businesses to ensure continuous growth and development of the economy after the devastating effects of Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated ample systemic flaws in the way we do things, including the way we conduct business, thereby requiring us to re-think and re-orient ourselves and our businesses.”
He said the country could not succeed if Ghanaians held on to the old ways of doing things. “If we want to survive, we will have to dwell on the lessons learnt from the pandemic going forward” he indicated.
In the government’s bid to reset the business and the economy, Vice President Bawumia said digitisation has an enormous role to play.
“One of the lessons the pandemic has taught us is that digitisation is the future; a future that perhaps started yesterday. Businesses will by necessity have to integrate appropriate digital technologies in their operations and service delivery to increase productivity and output.”
Dr Bawumia said the pandemic had presented a much-needed opportunity with which the country could reset the economy, “while still building upon the solid foundation already laid.”
The Vice President said the pandemic had also taught “us that businesses are intimately connected with society, and such intimate connection will require businesses to be responsive to the needs of all stakeholders.”
He said the government remained focused on building an economy that is underpinned by digitisation. “We have made progress on our enablers — particularly in Passport services, Driving License, integration of the National ID with Health Insurance, mobile money interoperability, paperless port systems, digital property addressing system and many others.
The government has also interfaced the Ghana Card with GRA and so the Ghana Card number becomes the Tax Identification Number (TIN) of everyone resident in Ghana.”
Until the integration, the country had only 700,000 persons with TIN. It now had over 15 million Ghanaians with TIN.
The government, Vice President Bawumia indicated, was also undertaking a house addressing and street naming programme, “which will see us affix, for free, house number plates to all the 7.5 million structures across the country. As businesses, you don’t need me to tell you the significance of this development.”
“The integration of NIA to the CID database is currently ongoing. This will help employers to easily check the criminal records of people they intend to employ. We have also integrated it with SSNIT. All of these digitisation efforts are aimed at formalising the economy and ensuring inclusion.
“We will continue with our comprehensive efforts to save lives, safeguard the educational system, minimise interruptions in the educational system, ensure that micro, small, medium and large enterprises continue to thrive and continue to fuel the economy, even as the pandemic persists.”
Dr Bawumia urged the business community to continue to “engage us on the measures they will want the government to put in place to make it easier for them to do business.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD