Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has disclosed that government should be able to increase the number of registered taxpayers to at least sixteen million by the end of this year.
Dr. Bawumia explained that this should be achieved through the conversion of all national ID numbers collated under the various card registrations to Tax Identification Numbers to track people who are yet to be captured under the tax net.
“Currently, less than two million people are registered to pay tax. But by the end of this year, we will start converting all the National ID numbers into tax identification numbers. This will increase the number of people registered to pay tax to about 16 million,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia made the remarks at the official ceremony to rebrand Barclays Bank Ghana into Absa Bank Ghana Limited.
Ghana’s quest to increase the number of Ghanaians registered to pay tax comes in the wake of poor domestic revenue mobilization which has over the years led to government missing revenue targets.
The country’s current tax-to-GDP ratio is about 12 percent, while the average performance in the West Africa sub-region is around 18 percent – a gap government has promised to close to yield enough revenue for development projects.
Touting the government’s agenda to digitize the economy, he said the introduction of digital drivers’ license and vehicle registration, the online application of passports, the paperless port system, and online renewal of NHIS membership have all curbed the frustrations and the petty bribery and corruption that many Ghanaians face in their daily lives.
“The National Insurance Commission has just digitized the motor insurance database. This means that the era of fake insurance certificates is over and the Police can check the insurance status of any vehicle through their mobile phone.”
“Thanks to the Bank of Ghana and GhIPSS, Ghana will launch a Universal QR Code payments system next month. This will make it possible for all retailers to receive payments on their mobile phones without the need for Point of Sale device,” Dr. Bawumia said.
The Vice President lauded the role Absa Bank Ghana Limited continues to play in Ghana’s development agenda; adding that the government will continue to partner and collaborate with the bank in an effort to create a prosperous nation.
Barclays’ transition to Absa
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, said as Absa Bank Ghana aspires to become a forward-looking digitally-led bank, the Bank of Ghana is counting on the bank to contribute to the development of digital solutions that make banking more convenient, while providing more avenues to make financial services more accessible to the unbanked.
“The central bank expects the changeover to Absa to carry along the level of excellence, leadership, and professionalism that has become synonymous with the 100-year Barclays heritage in Ghana. This is what has endeared the general public to Barclays, and that is what will be expected from Absa.”
“I believe that Absa Bank Ghana will carry the same principles into the next 100 years, and the new footprints will become even more exciting if the Ghanaian public have an opportunity to become shareholders in Absa Bank Ghana in the near future,” the Governor said.