The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said the government is integrating a credit record system into the Ghana Card to enable financial institutions to calculate the risk associated with granting a loan and the probability of non-repayment.
He said the Ghana Card, which provided unique identity and essential information about the bearer, including bank accounts, subscriber identification module (SIM) card and the National Digital Property Address, had already been put in place and the other necessities would be in place very soon to facilitate credit scoring.
“In just some few months, Ghana will, for the first time in our history, have a credit scoring system and, through that, we can identify who is a risky borrower and who is not and banks can also give lower interest rates to people who are not risky borrowers,” Dr Bawumia said.
He was speaking in Accra last Friday at the Civil Service Awards which were held on the theme: “Digitalisation in the Civil Service of Ghana: An agenda for improved productivity and service delivery”.
The awards, which formed part of the 2022 Civil Service Week celebrations, were to celebrate and recognise the strategic importance of employees of the Civil Service to national development and honour their dedicated and selfless services to the public.
Forty professionals and 35 sub-professionals were honoured at the night.
Each awardee was presented with a memento and a Samsung tablet.
“When I was working at the Bank of Ghana, one of the key challenges we had was access to a working credit system in Ghana. In many countries, workers don’t just live on their monthly pay cheques because there is a credit system, and once you have a regular pay cheque, you will be able to purchase items on credit,” the Vice-President said.
“We didn’t have this system in Ghana and one of the biggest problems to the development of this system was the absence of a unique identity. The credit reference agencies need a unique identity to do credit scoring, so that they can determine who is more qualified to purchase which item on credit,” he added.
Dr Bawumia observed that the country had got to the stage where it needed to focus more on effective systems for its development.
“And this is why I prefer the Ghana Card to 1,000 interchanges and people are challenging as to how the Ghana Card can be more valuable than an interchange.
We are too focused on brick and mortar for development, but it’s rather systems, data and institutions that develop a country,” he stated.
He said for the first time in the history of the country, there was now a unique identity system which was biometric and everyone could uniquely be identified, whether he or she were alive or dead.
That, he said, meant the case of ‘ghost’ names on the pubic sector payroll had become a thing of the past.
The Vice-President said through the Ghana Card, about 14,000 ‘ghost’ names were found and removed from the National Service Scheme, which saved the country GH¢114 million annually.
“This is the outcome of just two institutions and you can be sure that when we go through every institution, we can save huge sums of money from going waste,” he said.
He said the Ghana Card had also been made the tax identification number for everybody.
He commended the Civil Service for the tremendous strides it had made in digital transformation.
The service, he said, had adopted the use of digital tools and systems, which had contributed significantly to change in work process and the economic growth of the country.
Dr Bawumia said such a purposeful drive in the digitalisation agenda would contribute to improved transparency and faster and better work processes for impressive customer satisfaction.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, Patrick Nomo, was adjudged the Overall Best Chief Director.
He was followed by the Chief Director at the Office of the Head of the Civil Service, Godwin Brocke, while the Chief Director of the Ministry of Information, Maamle Andrews, settled for the third position.
Other chief directors who were recognised at the event were Dr Afisah Zakariah, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Dr Evans Dzikum, Ministry of Defence; Noah Tumfo, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, and Alhaji Hafiz Adam, Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The rest were Kizito Ballans, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; Patrick Yaw Nimo, Ministry of Trade and Industry; Solomon Asoalla, Ministry of Works and Housing, and Lawrence Apaalse, the Ministry of Energy.
The Head of the Civil Service, Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, congratulated the awardees and urged them to work towards becoming better versions of themselves.
Touching on the theme, he said digitalisation had aided the service in most of its tasks, saying it was using more e-governance strategies to provide improved services.