“I never said you can use Ghana card to buy a car”
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has clarified his recent statement regarding the Ghana Card and the purchase of cars, asserting that he did not suggest a direct connection between the Ghana Card and buying a car.
Speaking at an awards night organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), on Friday, December 8, 2023, at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), Dr Bawumia made it clear that he did not suggest a direct link between the Ghana Card and the purchase of a car.
The Vice-President, explained that his remarks were taken out of context, and he emphasized the need for an effective credit system in Ghana.
He highlighted the lack of an efficient credit scoring system in the country and mentioned that, with the cooperation of the central bank, Ghana is close to introducing an individualized credit scoring system next year.
This system would use the Ghana Card as an anchor, serving as a unique identifier for individuals and making credit more accessible to businesses.
Dr Bawumia, clarified that the Ghana Card would not be used directly to buy a car, but would facilitate access to credit for individuals, enabling them to make purchases of goods and services. He urged the public to understand the context of his statement and emphasized the government’s efforts to improve the credit system and support businesses.
The clarification comes after reports and interpretations circulated, suggesting that the Ghana Card could be directly used for car purchases based on Dr Bawumia’s initial remarks.
“One of the problems we have in Ghana is the lack of an effective credit system as compared to what we see in other advanced countries, In Ghana when you receive your paycheck that is what you rely on for the month. The credit system in other jurisdictions works effectively to increase your consumption possibility.”
“I was making a statement that one of the things that we don’t have currently in Ghana is a credit scoring system that the referencing agency will normally do. That statement I made of course was taken out of context and some people even disagreed with that statement, saying we don’t have such an individualized credit system in Ghana”
“But now with the cooperation with the central bank, we are very close to introducing an individualized credit scoring system in Ghana next year which allow us to differentiate risk from individuals and that was the sense which I said that an individualized scoring system will have the Ghana card as that anchor because it is a unique identifier for everybody and that will allow credit to be more accessible to all of these companies here who will then be able to offer credit to many consumers”.
“The Ghana card being the anchor, some people misunderstood that saying you can use the Ghana card to buy a car which doesn’t make sense, the Ghana card will help you get credit to be able to assist you in making purchases of goods and other services,” he said.
The event recognized and celebrated the achievements of the top 100 companies in Ghana’s business landscape, acknowledging their significant contributions to the country’s economy across various sectors.
Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (Ahafo South Mine), was crowned the best company in the country at the 20th Ghana Club 100 Awards.
The mining firm, which placed second in the 2022 edition, topped 99 other companies, including Scancom Plc Ghana (MTN Ghana), which took the second spot, and Amanex Company Limited, which clinched the third position.
The event was laced with strategic networking sessions, as well as music and dance. It was organized by the GIPC in collaboration with the MIE Group organisers of the China Trade Week.
The GIPC flagship event honours top-performing entities in the Ghanaian business landscape whose contributions continue to propel the country’s economic growth and have a positive impact on their serving communities.
The top 100 companies that were celebrated were from the agriculture and agribusiness, financial services, ICT, infrastructure, petroleum, mining services, manufacturing, tourism, health, and education sectors.
The financial sector dominated the night as the sector with the most numbers enlisted in the 20th Ghana Club 100 awards.
However, none of its two predominant subsectors at the ceremony – microfinance and insurance made it to the top 10.
Goldfields Ghana (Tarkwa Mine) placed fourth, Newmont Golden Ridge Ltd (Akyem Mine) – fifth, Anglogold Ashanti Ltd – sixth, and Dansworld International Services – seventh.
The Abosso Goldfields Ltd, Benso Oil Palm Plantation Ltd, and FBNBank Ghana placed eighth, ninth and 10th positions, respectively.
This year’s Ghana Club 100 awards, is held on the theme: “Accelerating Economic Growth: Amplifying Ghana’s Global Market Footprint through AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area).”
The theme was crafted to engender significant promotion of investment, trade, and knowledge exchange, leading to the stimulation of national economic growth.
AfCFTA, which took effect in early 2021, is the world’s largest free trade area by membership, embracing 54 African countries with a 1.3 billion population, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$2.4 trillion.
Its implementation reflects the collective vision of African leaders to create a unified market, by removing all forms of trade barriers to stimulate economic growth and shared prosperity.
The Vice President stated that: “Ghana thrives when the private sector thrives.”
He said it was, therefore, important to strengthen companies in the private sector to enable them to compete effectively in the global market, especially by making them transition into a formalised economy.
The Vice President, said the government was doing its part with various initiatives, including the digitalisation of systems, advancement in technology and innovation, and improving infrastructural development.
He stated that the country’s digitalisation programme, had been anchored on the Ghana Card – a biometric-technology national identity card, which had so far enrolled about 17 million people.
“Today, we’ve linked all bank accounts and SIM cards to the Ghana Card. Your tax identification number and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) number is your Ghana Card number,” Dr Bawumia said.
He also said that: “Today, we’ve linked the Ghana Card number to the Controller and Accountant General Department’s payroll, and we’re seeing an increase in formalisation of the economy as a result of digitalisation.”
He encouraged Ghana’s private sector to see AfCFTA as a catalyst for economic expansion, as the implementation of the free trade agreement provided an opportunity to explore opportunities for the continent’s economic prosperity.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area, our compass for this journey is not merely an agreement; it is a beacon guiding us towards a future where Ghana stands tall in the global marketplace,” Dr Bawumia said.
Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GIPC noted that investors were aggressively pursuing opportunities in Accra.
That, he said, called for the formation of stronger alliances with Ghanaian companies to create a win-win situation for investors and the country, reiterating that the private sector remained the engine of growth of the Ghanaian economy.
He pledged the Centre’s support to create more avenues for enhanced private-sector interaction with the government. This will help businesses to thrive, and generate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to support Ghana’s economic growth and stability.
This year’s celebration was preceded with a three-day Ghana Investment Week in October, which brought together investors, industry leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. The summit served as a platform to unlock infrastructural bottlenecks, including in roads, railways, airlines, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and energy to make intra-trade on the continent easier and faster.