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Spread digitalisation to other sectors for efficiency
Spread digitalisation to other sectors for efficiency

Spread digitalisation to other sectors for efficiency

Digitalisation is a welcome phenomenon. Its absence will draw the country farther behind the rest of the world in advancing development.

There are studies to show a positive relationship between the application of information and communication technology (ICT) and economic growth.

This means that a marginal application of ICT leads to a percentage growth in the productivity of a nation.

This is also clear when one compares private sector entities in the country with their public sector counterparts.

The private sector becomes significantly efficient due to factors that include the application of technology, ICT, in its operations.

It is, therefore, music to our ears to see the country deploy ICT in many areas, particularly public sector organisations.

The ICT application also makes way for the digitalisation of government operations and processes.

The Daily Graphic has observed that many of the ICT-enabled services the government has completed are working very well, challenges notwithstanding.

A long time ago, public universities, with the help of banks, digitalised the payment of school fees which helped the institutions to enjoy a steady flow of income, income predictability and also saved the students certain risks such as robbery.

We can also cite the digitalisation of the passport acquisition process, the work of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) to make payment services of banks interoperable as well as ensuring mobile money interoperability; the digitalisation of motor insurance, the Ghana.Gov, among others, as some of the notable tech-enabled projects that have lived to expectation.

It is also noteworthy that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which is responsible for mobilising revenue within the country, has digitalised its operations significantly to remove the human interface as much as possible.

Aside from the classification and valuation of imports that have been digitalised, the GRA continues to deploy more technology across its operations.

The latest includes the electronic value added tax (VAT), which means that shopping centres now have to link their systems to that of the GRA as a form of assurance.

Another innovative deployment of technology by the Customs Division of the GRA is the Electronic Metering Management System (EMMS) installed on downstream petroleum depots by a revenue assurance firm, Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML).

The removal of the manual process of verifying the inflow and outflow of petroleum products has saved the country GH¢3 billion in three years. This feat is by all standards a welcome development that needs to be encouraged and supported to succeed even further.

The Daily Graphic calls on the authorities to extend similar tech-based solutions to other parts of government operations to increase revenue mobilisation.

There is data to show that if the country mobilises all that it is expected to collect within the country, Ghana will indeed grow beyond aid.
Many of the economic and fiscal challenges the country face almost within a 10-year cycle, the Daily Graphic believes, are self-inflicted.

The deployment of technology and enforcement of agreed rates and receivables will mean adequate revenue to the extent that we will need very little support from development partners.

It is the position of the Daily Graphic that what has worked should be replicated in other sectors of the economy so that the revenue loopholes would be plugged to ensure ultimately that the tax incidence and burden will not be on a few Ghanaians who continue to honour their obligations to the state.

We, however, advise that all digitalised systems in the public sector should continuously be monitored, evaluated, improved and secured to prevent any connivance by human beings to compromise the system.

The digitalised systems should work well and not be sabotaged for selfish interests.


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