Ghana.gov Makes over GH¢35 billion in six months
The singe and official online platform available to Ghanaians, ghana.gov, to access and pay their government services digitally has accounted for over GH¢34 billion transactional value between the period of May 2021 and October 2021.
This was made known by the finance minister, Honourable Ken Ofori-Atta, when delivering his 2022 budget presentation in parliament on Wednesday.
Out of the total revenue generated, Ghana Revenue Authority accounted for majority of it raising GHS34.6 billion plus, while the MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies) accounted for GHS 457.1 million and the MMDAs (metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies) brought in a meager GHS217,220.
The online platform, ghana.gov, was launched in the early part of the year to give the public a single-point online access to government services from Passport Office, Ghana Revenue Authority Ghana Immigration Service, Births and Deaths, the various MDAs and MMDAs as well the police, justice system, health and many more.
These three Ghanaian Fintechs – Hubtel, IT Consortium and ExpressPay, are the brain behind the site. It allows services from the various state institutions on ghana.gov to be paid for via mobile money, bank cards and other digital wallets.
The Vice President, Dr Mahammudu Bawumia, during the time of its launch said; its the all-in-one online portal that will prevent bribery and corruption in government’s revenue collection and ensure that all of government’s revenue is lodged directly into bank accounts. He referred to it as prevention of ‘demons and principalities’.
Hon, Ken Ofori-Atta is noted to have said, there are currently 49 public institutions whose transactions can be accessed on ghana.gov. The number is expected to increase to 165 by the close of November 2021.
Sources from office of the government made it known that, the details of an additional 123 institutions have populated at the backend of the portal, while some 95 agencies are in various stages of integration to go-live by end of November, with nine still being populated and awaiting approval of fees and charges,
Talks are ongoing in the background to onboard all Rural and Community Banks by the close of the year in order to expand access to payment and collection digitally. About 23 commercial banks have been cleared and are actively receiving government payment via the portal.
Ken Ofori-Atta observed that ghana.gov has created an opportunity for government to harness an increase in captured economic revenue from 4 percent to 84 percent, which creates a real chance to achieve the intended expansion of the tax net.
He further said ghana.gov is a part of the holistic digital Ghana agenda, which has catalysed financial institutions and is therefore helping to mobilize resources and direct it where it is needed most.
As a result of recent digitalization, he said, “tens of billions of Ghana cedis are mobilized every month from and by people previously presumed too poor to open and keep a traditional bank account or even operate a mobile phone. With millions of Ghanaians tapping into the convenience of simplified payment systems, transactions that used to take place on the blind side of the Central Bank is now fully visible.”
The Minister said digitalization is contributing to the formalization of our economy – a subject about which so much had been said for years but very little to nothing had been actually done
“With digitization, state institutions are more able to plug revenue leakages and thus increase internally generated funds. That gives them the capacity to potentially pay their workers better wages and reduce borrowing by central government for capital expenditure because they can go to a bank on the strength of their own books, and so reduce the country’s debt overhang over time,” he said.
Meanwhille, in his recent digitalization lecture, the Vice President, Dr Mahammudu, announced measures being put in place to boost revenue mobilization in the country. He mentioned the National Common Platform for Property Tax and Land Administration, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing digitalization, the paperless port, ICUMS and others.
There is also an ongoing process to convert all Ghana Card number to SSNIT and Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) in order to capture every Ghanaian into the tax net. Ghana Revenue Authority has launched an app to make it easy for all Ghanaians to file their tax returns.