GHANA:Expand Base Of Mobile Money To Accrue More Revenue - NCA Chair

Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, is advocating the migration of payments systems within the public sector onto mobile money, to block financial leakages within the sector.

This, Sakyi-Addo believes, will enable government accrue the revenue it needs badly for developmental projects without necessarily increasing taxes.

Mobile money transactions in Ghana reached a total of GHS679.17million by August 2016 representing a 20 percent growth compared to last year. There are currently over 80, 000 mobile money agents across the country.

The payment system is now arguably the most accessible form of financial service, where about 99 percent of Ghanaians are aware of at least one provider and 29 percent have used mobile money.

According to the Bank of Ghana, the volume of mobile money transactions far exceeded all the other non-cash payment system meaning Mobile Money patronage is very high in the country.

Speaking at the 2017 annual lecture organized by the Today’s Newspaper on the theme, Using Digital Technology to accelerate Business Growth, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo urged government to take advantage of the fastest growing mobile payment system to block financial leakages in the public sector.

He charged that “Government needs to raise money and government over time has been talking about expanding the tax base. Mobile technology and mobile money offers that opportunity not by necessarily taxing the service but by expanding the base. 

“LEAP is currently using MM to pay beneficiaries but there are other ‘government to people payment’ and ‘people to government payment’ that should move to mobile money. For instance registering at the Registrar Generals Department, paying for passports, Births and Deaths registry, Local Authority fees and levies, Ports and Harbours transactions, all of these must move to mobile money,” he explained.

Sakyi-Addo believes that government can use mobile technology to increase its tax base without necessarily increasing taxes, charges, bills and levies because revenue will be increased.

Meanwhile government is asking the regulator, the NCA, to ensure that education on mobile money fraud is intensified to promote trust in the system.

Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah, who also spoke at the event, said although government and the telecom companies cannot do much to prevent mobile money fraud, individuals can be more vigilant and careful when making transactions on mobile money platforms.