Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has addressed the lack of an effective credit system in Ghana and the move to introduce the concept of a Credit Economy.
He clarified that the new system will use the Ghana Card as an anchor to differentiate risk between individuals and allow for greater access to credit.
Dr. Bawumia stressed that the individualised credit-scoring system will not allow for people to simply purchase a car with their Ghana Card, but rather make it easier for individuals to receive credit and purchase items with the national identity serving as anchor.
The Vice President stated that the introduction of this system is in cooperation with the Central Bank and will allow for greater consumption possibilities for Ghanaians. Many companies dealing in consumer products and services will be able to offer credit to consumers.
He said these in an address he delivered on digital economy at the 20th edition of the Ghana Club 100 Awards on Saturday, December 9, 2023.
The award, over the years, has been a fitting platform to honour and celebrate the outstanding achievements of businesses across various sectors, as well as their contributions to our country.
“The other I was talking about one of the problems we have in Ghana which is lack of an effective credit system as compare to what we see in the advanced countries. In Ghana, when you receive your paycheck that is what you rely on for the rest of the month but many other jurisdictions, the credit system works effectively to increase your consumption possibilities.
“So I was making a statement that one of the things that we don’t have currently in Ghana is the credit-scoring system that the credit reference agencies will normally do and that statement that I made is a truism and surprisingly some people want to disagree with it and even the regulator the Central Bank who was saying we don’t have that system in Ghana, an individualised credit-scoring system.
“But now with the cooperation with the central bank I think we are very close to introduce an individualised credit-scoring system in Ghana that would allow us to differentiate risk between different individuals and that was the sense in which I said that the individualised credit-scoring system will have the Ghana Card as the anchor because it is the unique identifier for everybody and that would then allow credit to be more accessible and all of the companies present here most of them who deals in consumer products and services will be able to offer credit to many consumers. And the Ghana Card being the anchor, some people misunderstood that I said you can take the Ghana Card then go and buy a car which doesn’t make sense but the Ghana Card will help you get credit and that you can buy a car or any other items that matter,”
The Credit Economy implemented through the Ghana Card is a positive step towards closing the gap between Ghana and other jurisdictions who have effective credit systems.
Dr. Bawumia highlighted the benefits that the economy is deriving from the digitalization agenda of the government.
He explained that the digitalization is tackling the issue of corruption in the acquisition of government services such as passports, and the clearing of goods at the ports because human intervention has been reduced, with the introduction of the Ghana Card identity system.
Dr Bawumia underscored the indispensability of the private sector’s contribution towards economic progress and also reiterated the government’s commitment to aiding the private sector to thrive.
“One of the areas that we can help our private sector immensely is to transition from the informal economy that we have in many countries, especially in Ghana. When we came into office we were facing some major challenges in the area of informal economy. Before you can really build an economy that is going to be transformational, you need to take care of major problems that are in the informal economy.
“You look at an economy in the informal sense which turned to be undisciplined, the society is undisciplined because the economy is informal and there are no consequences for bad actions, you have a society where corruption prevails, you have lawlessness, you have a tax dodging society, you have an unbanked society, you have a loan repayment dodging society, identity fraud, people assuming identities of others, lack of address systems, age cheating, fake insurance, fake birth certificates, fake passports, no functional address systems, ghost workers on government payrolls.
“These ills of the informal economy that we really inherited made it very difficult for the economy to transform to its potential. That is why we set out to formalize the economy to make sure that the economy works in a transparent system. That area of formalization of the economy we rely heavily on digitalization of the economy to formalize the economy.
“This is why we have been moving steadily and we have made a lot of progress in this particular area. Of course, the anchor for the digitalization programme has been the Ghana Card that we issued. Today, we have enrolled over 17million people on the Ghana Card, today we have linked all bank accounts to the Ghana Card, and linked all SIM cards to the Ghana Card, TIN is your Ghana Card number, NHIS number is your Ghana Card number, today we have linked the Ghana Card to the Controller and Accountant General Department payroll. Today we are increasing this formalization of the economy as a result of digitalisation, we are digitalizing all government services through Ghana.gov.gh and so on.
“All these bring transparency and that helps businesses, it makes the system clearer, it reduces corruption because you can get services without actually going to meet anybody who will demand a bribe,” the flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) said.
Watch Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia explaining the credit-scoring concept.
By Vincent Kubi