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Formalizing The Ghanaian Economy Is Key To Economic Transformation - Bawumia   
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The 2012 Vice-Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that the Nana Akufo-Addo administration would implement key policies aimed at the formalization of the Ghanaian economy since that would be key to transforming Ghana into a modern, globally competitive society and economy.

The NPP Running Mate who was speaking at a Townhall Meeting with the Ghanaian community in Toronto, Canada, noted that Ghana’s economy which is largely informal, inhibits economic development and could act as a huge hindrance to the Nation’s quest to become globally competitive and modern.

He said, “In transforming our society, it would be critical to formalize our economy and the Nana Akufo-Addo administration would take very immediate steps in this direction. Mainly, the NPP would focus on achieving three key things – the unique identification of all residents, a comprehensive street and property address system and an economy dominated by electronic payments”

Dr. Bawumia explained that the absence of a database uniquely identifying all citizens and residents of Ghana continues to inhibit economic development and transformation.

He noted that it was in recognition of this, that the previous NPP government established the National Identification Authority (NIA) and mandated it with the all important task of establishing this database. He continued that unfortunately, the NDC administration since assuming office in January 2009 has not approached this duty with any seriousness but has rather decided to play politics with such an important institution.

Dr. Bawumia stated that after almost four years in office, Ghana has been the loser as the task of identifying citizens and residents was no closer to completion since the NIA had not been sufficiently resourced to carry out its mandate.
Dr. Bawumia informed the audience that a Nana Akufo-Addo administration would tackle the National Identification process with all seriousness and ensure that as much as possible, all residents are issued a National Identification Card within the first year of governance and stressed that the vision would be toward ensuring that all citizens in the future have their National Identification numbers at birth.

Touching on the second key area of focus, Dr. Bawumia said that a system of street naming and property addresses was one of the most underestimated requirements for the transformation of our economy. He and pledged that a Nana Akufo-Addo administration would make the implementation of a comprehensive address system a priority and provide the requisite resources to accomplish.

“A functioning address system creates jobs and streamlines business. It drives commerce, the delivery business, makes identification easy for financial transactions, reduces risks to financing business etc. It is one of the unwritten rules of a modern economy and the availability today of GPS technology and systems like Google maps should make our task much easier”, he said

On the need to transform the economy to an electronic dominated payments regime, the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana told the Ghanaian said, “we would work to move the economy from the current cash economy to one that will be dominated by electronic payments and encourage personal savings by banking the unbanked through policies for financial inclusion.
This would in the process increase access to credit by individuals and businesses.”

He indicated that technology for electronic payment systems had already been initiated in Ghana and that what is needed is the political will to see the process through fully; a process he noted will move the country into the era of electronic payments, do away with the numerous ghost names on government payroll, and ultimately ensure that salaries of workers are paid on time and are accessible anywhere and at any time even in rural areas without electricity.

Dr. Bawumia argued that these key steps would be critical to modernizing the Ghanaian economy, increasing discipline in the society, improving access to credit, creating new businesses and jobs and widening the tax base.

“What would happen to the Canadian economy if the street address system vanished or the social security numbers for everyone disappeared?” Dr. Bawumia rhetorically asked the Toronto audience and noted that such a situation would only result in the collapse of the Canadian economy.

Dr. Bawumia is presently on a working visit to Canada with a team that includes Kwadjo Owusu-Afriyie, the New Patriotic Party General Secretary and Youth Organizer of the Party, Anthony Karbo.
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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