Bawumia Outlines 10-Point Plan To Solving Unemployment

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP Vice-Presidential Candidate, has outlined a comprehensive ten-point plan to boosting job creation and ending the massive joblessness that affects millions of the Ghanaian youth today.

Dr. Bawumia laid out this plan during a Lecture on the topic – ‘High Graduate Unemployment and the Employment Embargo, What is the Solution’ to students of the Kwame Nkrumah University College at a Public Lecture organized by the Economics Students Association on Tuesday.

He stated that the goal for now is to build the most people friendly and most business friendly, globally competitive economy in Africa.

Formalizing the Economy

The first key, according to Dr. Bawumia, to creating the needed jobs and transforming the Ghanaian economy is formalizing the economy. He noted that no developed economy could have reached their current status without formalizing their economies.

He indicated that a comprehensive National identification database with unique identifiers for each person and a well-functioning property address system are some of the pillars to formalising the economy.

He said that a Data Revolution was critical to Ghana’s development, indicating that such a Revolution would involve linking databases across institutions such as DVLA, Police, Courts, Immigration, Revenue Agencies etc.

“All modern economies all formalized. Formalization makes the collection of taxes, discipline and job creation easier. The keys to formalizing an economy are the existence of a National ID System and a functioning Property Address System.

The benefits of a national ID system or a unique identification number for residents and a well-functioning Property Address System are significant. Activities of residents with regards to taxes, loan applications, crime, job applications, housing, insurance, health, etc. are uniquely identifiable”, he said.

Dr. Bawumia also identified the movement from cash to electronic payments using mobile and other ICT platforms as another pillar to formalizing the economy.

Financial Inclusion

The second key for Dr. Bawumia is financial inclusion – banking the unbanked.

“The financial system cannot develop to its potential and monetary policy cannot be effective if the majority of the population continues to be excluded from access to financial services. The importance and urgency of banking the unbanked is something that is clearly not appreciated by many governments.

As well as formalizing the economy, it holds the key to reducing interest rates sustainably with the support of disciplined fiscal policy. This is because banking the unbanked increases the supply of savings in the banking system.”

Citing examples from various countries, Dr. Bawumia noted that a deliberate governmental policy was necessary to spur financial inclusion and that if achieved, it will ensure that businesses can borrow at very low and stable rates to grow business and employ more.

“Wide access to financial services in the developed economies increased the supply of savings in their banking systems and reduced the cost of borrowing”, he added.

Diversifying Export Base & Developing the Property Market

The third key, according to Dr. Bawumia, is diversifying the export base of the country and deliberately pursuing policies to make Ghana the production hub in the sub-region to attract the needed industries and investment to create jobs.

The fourth key in the ten point plan is developing the mortgage market which, according to the NPP Vice-Presidential Candidate, holds the key to awakening the dead capital in Ghana’s property market and boosting growth and jobs.

He noted that developing the mortgage market requires finding a solution to the issues that bog land acquisition and streamlining the processes around the acquisition and development of property.

“From our Zongos like Nima, our inner cities like James Town to our well developed neighbourhoods like East Legon in Accra, so many people do not have titles to land. Our people are sitting on very valuable property but without title to them. Finding a solution to this problem would jump start the mortgage market in a big way.

“Solving this problem would increase the supply of houses by the private sector, empower the poor who would be able to borrow against the collateral of their houses and start or expand businesses, and result in a housing sector led boom in the economy and higher tax revenue for government.

“A blossoming Mortgage Market, with the necessary structures and pillars, will see openings for several well-paying jobs which our youth can be beneficiaries of. The property market is perhaps one of the most labour intensive sectors and it is thus a critical cornerstone for an economy that seeks to win the war against employment”, he said.