The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged Chief Executives of Government agencies and business leaders to embrace the tide of digitization and infuse their operations with innovative digital technology to drive business evolution and for survival.
He has also encouraged them to focus on building sustainable businesses and help build an economy that will remain resilient even in the face of unpredictable occurrences such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Vice President, who gave the advice at the 5th Ghana CEOs Summit in Accra on Monday, 17th May, said it is absolutely imperative to reset and reignite business and the economy in these times, to ensure continuous growth and development of the Ghanaian 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. We cannot succeed if we hold 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 our bid to reset business and the economy, digitization has an enormous role to play. One of the lessons the pandemic has taught us is that digitization 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 in order to increase productivity and output.”
Dr Bawumia emphasized: “The pandemic has presented a much-needed opportunity with which we can reset the economy, while still building upon the solid foundation already laid. It has 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.”
“The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo,” Dr Bawumia pledged, “remains focused on building an economy that is underpinned by digitization. We have made progress on our enablers. We are beginning to see the dividends in Passport services, Driving License, the integration of the National ID with Health Insurance, with the implementation of initiatives like mobile money interoperability, the paperless port systems, digital property addressing system and many others.
“We have 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 we did this integration, we had only 700,000 persons with TIN. We now over 15 million Ghanaians with TIN. We are 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 digitization efforts are aimed at formalizing the economy and ensuring inclusion.
“We will continue with our comprehensive efforts to save lives, safeguard the educational system, minimize 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 Government to put in place to make it easier for them to do business.”