We got GH₵20bn revenue from new digital payment platform – Ofori-Atta
The country generated GH₵20 billion revenue in a little over a year through the pilot of the government’s single payment and revenue collection platform, Ghana.gov.
The amount was mobilised between June 2020 and the first two weeks of July 2021 through transactions on the platform, most of which were related to income for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, made this disclosure when he delivered a speech at the launch of the platform to mark its nationwide usage.
According to the finance minister, an initial 624,000 persons registered to pay about 37 different tax categories and other services to GRA and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“Over 5.8 million transactions have been carried out since the platform’s pilot in June 2020, with a value of GH₵20.2 billion as of 4:30 pm this past Monday,” Mr Ofori-Atta said on Wednesday, July 14.
He said that over 90% of transactions were of GRA, which should “translate to enhanced revenue mobilisation outcomes. In February of this year, we got about GH₵1.8 billion, and in June this year, it has risen to GH₵ 3.7 billion.”
However, the finance minister bemoaned the lapses in revenue collection in the country, noting that compared to sub-Sahara Africa and Europe, the country’s tax revenue has remained low.
“Tax revenue has been relatively low in Ghana, with our tax revenue to gross domestic product (GPD) of about 14.3%, compared to about 20% for sub-Sahara Africa and 34% for Europe.”
Nonetheless, he said he was hopeful that with the centralised digital payment and revenue collection system and stoppage of revenue leakages, the country could get more than GH₵150 billion revenues.
“These are profound numbers for the development of our country, and the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda would be a reality in this administration,” Mr Ofori-Atta promised.
From now on, he said the ministry would deploy the platform to cover more public sector agencies, including state-owned enterprises.
Additionally, it would take steps to interface the Ghana.gov platform with the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) system to facilitate compliance with the national public management framework.
The government would also launch an inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, GRA, and the national security to spearhead the ministry’s oversight of the revenue collections agencies in the country.
This, he said, would ensure revenue assurance and compliance enforcement to enable the country to realise the needed revenue.
Touching on other revenue mobilisation efforts of the government, the minister observed that the collaboration between the National Identification Authority (NIA) and GRA has resulted in reaching about 15 million people.
He continued, noting that about 22,000 people who are engineers, medical, finance, and legal professionals have apathy towards the payment of taxes through this collaboration.
Hence, there would be intensified efforts, including public and personal interaction, on the need to pay taxes.
The Ghana.gov platform
Ghana.gov was proposed in the last government of the president as a panacea to revenue mobilisation across the 254 metropolitan, municipal, district assemblies (MMDAs).
In June last year, a pilot of the platform was carried out, leading to its subsequent national adoption, this year as a single point of access to all government of Ghana services for the public sector.
The portal seeks to deliver the processing of all payments and transfers, both electronic and cash, against predefined service flows of each MDA and MMDA.
It would also manage post-payment workflow, customer notification, feedback and service ratings, thereby enabling the Government of Ghana to fulfil its goal of creating a cash-lite economy.