IMANI Ghana’s Franklin Cudjoe calls Bawumia’s bluff; digitization of RGD is a farce


Not long ago the Vice President visited the Registrar General‘s Department to launch the digitization of the Business/Company Registration process which was touted as the answer to the lengthy and arduous process would be company owners go through to get a licence to commence operation by getting a certificate from the Registrar General‘s Department.

This was launched by the Vice President Dr Bawumia to much pump and pageantry but more than 4 months after the launch of the digital company registration process it seems nothing much has changed and the launch of the so called digital process was just to play to the cameras.

President of policy think tank IMANI Ghana Franklin Cudjoe has written a hard hitting critique of the process calling it a farce and questioning why the Vice President was misled into launching a process which largely does nothing to help cut down the processing time of a company registration process.

Here is Franklin Cudjoe’s posted below:

Oh dear! I was wrong. All attendees of today’s IMANI’s Business Reform Forum were shocked to learn that the much touted electronic registration of businesses by the Registrar-General’s department is a complete farce!

A live demonstration of the process in the presence of officials from the Registrar-General’s and Ghana Revenue Authority revealed a very porously insecure and multi-layered process that leads to a dead end-

The most absurd of requirements is a Tax Identification Number, requested of applicants, new applicants actually, before one continues with the process.

Generating a TIN is an off-line process, as one needs to download forms, print them, fill them out and scan and deliver PHYSICALLY and wait forever for the number before continuing the registration process.

Why can’t the TIN be randomly generated as part of the registration process?

The other joke is the government’s electronic payment platform-

The platfrom has been DEAD for a sigficant while. It is still dead as I type.

Folks, if we really want to move Ghana beyond aid, we have to get the basics of business and enterprise reform right.

It makes absolutely no sense to be labouring our young upcoming business owners through these labyrinth of nothingness.

We must as a matter of urgency fix these basic problems and ensure that officials responsible are held accountable-

This is not a problem to be cured by the usual refrain- National Identification.

It is perfectly fine to use the existing IDs we have to do something as basic as registering a business.

12 years ago in Hong Kong, myself and other think tank leaders attending the WTO summit registered a business in an hour! We didn’t need a unique Hong Kong ID number!

And we wonder why Hong Kong, poorer than us at independence is ranked in the top 5 most competitive countries and we are making progress towards the disappointing bottom 100s. So, what have we been asking our leaders to be launching really?”