The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said that the government’s single payment and revenue collection platform, Ghana.gov, would increase the country’s revenue by an estimated GH₵3 billion annually.
“Ghana.gov will help grow government revenue. It is estimated that about 10 to 15% of collections are lost through inefficiencies, theft or other accounting schemes. Going digital means that we can improve our revenue collection by an estimated GH₵3 billion annually,” Dr Bawumia explained.
He was speaking at the launch of the Ghana.gov platform in Accra on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
He was optimistic that the new platform would help Ghana to “derive expense savings of some GH₵40 million a year”.
Again, he indicated that he was consecutive because a 2017 payment industry report suggested that Ghana could save over GH₵250 million a year by becoming a cash lite economy.
In jest, he said the new platform “is a real weapon in the fight against the demons and principalities in the public sector.”
This is because the platform would address the revenue leakages by curbing situations where cash payments find themselves in people’s pockets rather than the government’s account.
“Ghana.gov is a one-stop-shop to enable citizens to easily access government services, simplifies payments for public services, ensure prompt payment for services and promote transparency and visibility of the internally generated funds”.
The platform would eliminate intermediaries such as ‘Goro boys’ in the acquisition of passports and driver’s licences.
The intervention is also expected to address the frustrating experience of dealing with government agencies.
This is because, “the bureaucracy is daunting, and has resulted in a culture of paying bribes and engaging middlemen, known as ‘Goro boys’, to obtain basic services such as passport and driver’s licences.”
“The Ghana.gov platform would address such challenges, as it would provide a single point of access to all services of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the government,” he said.
Additionally, the digital platform would ease access to various government services by ending the burden of travelling to regional capitals for such services.
He underscored that the platform’s adoption was not the government’s first attempt to digitise the provision and delivery of all government services on a single platform.
He quickly added that having such a system required certain key pillars to be in place before a single platform for effective delivery of government’s services.
Dr Bawumia explained that it was for this reason that the government rolled out a number of digitalisation schemes, including the residential and office digital addressing system through the Ghana Post GPS.
In addition to this was the roll-out of the national identification card (Ghana card) system to provide a unique national identity for citizens and other residents, to help the government identify individuals it deals with in many ways.
There was also the implementation of mobile money interoperability, which has made it possible for mobile money accounts to operate like traditional bank accounts to spur financial inclusion.
This exercise, the vice president said, has resulted in more than 90% of the adult population of Ghana having either a bank account or a mobile money account.
Universal QR codes have also been introduced to complement mobile money operations and allow all merchants and individuals to go cashless, he noted.
He emphasised, “that ecosystem that have been put together now allows this platform to work.”
The Ghana.gov platform
The Ghana.gov is a digital service and revenue collection platform, created to provide a single point of access to government of Ghana services for the public sector.
The portal seeks to deliver the processing of all payments and transfers, both electronic and cash, against predefined service flows of each MDA and MMDA.
It would also manage post-payment workflow, customer notification, feedback and service ratings, thereby, enabling the Government of Ghana to fulfil its goal of creating a cash-lite economy.
Currently, the passport office, ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration, Lands Commission, National Service Secretariat, food and drugs administration,
Others on the platform are the National Information Technology Authority (NITA), the Registrar General’s Department, and the National Schools and Inspectorate Authority.
Meanwhile, the Public Procurement Authority, Data Protection Commission, National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Minerals Commission, COTVET, Ghana Post GPS, and all remaining MMDAs are expected to be placed on the platform by the end of 2021.