Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has hit out at critics of his digitalisation agenda, maintaining that government is building an “economy of systems and data” which would massively improve all aspects of governance including revenue generation and lead to a strong and robust financial system.
Dr Bawumia said the benefits of the digitisation agenda reach far and wide and are already bearing fruits in multiple sectors.
The Vice President made his comments during a recent courtesy call paid on his office by the Standard Bank Group to reaffirm their commitment to the growth and development of the African continent.
Speaking on the need for digitisation, Dr Bawumia said the entire move to digital systems across board is to build a strong and robust base for the financial sector and completely revamp it vis-a-vis the risk of doing business.
Bawumia outlined that digitisation would eliminate much of the issues which precipitated the banking sector collapse that ended up costing the government over $7bn to clean up.
“Digital transparency is critical if we want to build a strong and robust financial system. What we are doing is building an economy of systems and data through our digitisation agenda. Again, in the financial sector, part of our digitisation agenda is meant to de-risk the financial system so far as lending and borrowing is concerned,” he said.
“Previously, people could take loans and disappear without a trace but now with the Ghana Card, which is linked to your bank account and your digital address, banks can locate everyone who takes loans from them. The Ghana Card number is also a tax identification number, which also allows the expansion of the tax net because everyone with the card will now be identified as a taxpayer,” Dr Bawumia added.
Stanbic Pledges Support For Government
The Chief Executive Officer, Business and Commercial Clients at the Standard Bank Group, Bill Blackie, said the bank is committed to aiding Africa’s development in any way they can.
“Over 160 years ago the bank had an aspiration of building a global company but after a while, we realised that we needed to focus on our home, which is Africa and channel our resources, capital and expertise into driving its growth. Since then, we have committed to a capital energy that vitalises our African franchise in ways that ensure that we are contributing to the growth of the 20 African countries that we currently operate in,” he said
He also pledged support for the government of Ghana’s industrialisation drive.
“In Ghana, we continue to support government’s industrialisation drive because we appreciate the importance of industrialisation in growing African economies. We have done this by funding key initiatives in the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Bawumia lauded the company for their decision to focus on and aid Africa’s growth.
“I appreciate the focus of the Standard Bank Group on the African continent. That focus is not misplaced because of the potential of the continent if we get the right pillars in place to drive growth. In Ghana, there have been many reforms that are targeted at making the economy stronger. The banking sector clean-up in 2017, for instance, was done to protect the sector and the data post the clean-up suggest that the sector is stronger,” he said.