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IMANI Africa, a Policy think tank, has described as a complete mess and waste of taxpayers money, the electronic registration of businesses by the Registrar-General’s Department.
According to the think tank’s President, Franklin Cudjoe, there is no significant difference between the old manual registration process and the newly introduced electronic system.
The government in October 2017 launched the automated and online portal of the Registrar General’s Department, aimed at reducing the time and cost of business registration, and ensuring an appropriate business registration and filing regime.
Franklin Cudjoe wants the government to urgently fix the problem with the electronic system to ensure a thriving business environment.
“We thought that we should ensure we brought evidence to the fact that the website, electronic platforms are not user-friendly. The other one is the Ghana Payment Platform, as for that one, it has been dead for a very long while…. It makes a mockery of the very hard effort of Dr. Bawumia, and I feel somehow that they were deceiving Dr. Bawumia which I think is not the best. I think the Vice President’s office must ensure that they are getting live reports almost on a daily basis of these very things he is being made to launch,” he said.
A live demonstration of the functionality of the websites at IMANI’s Business Reform Forum on Thursday in the presence of officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority and Registrar General’s Department, revealed that the websites were poorly secured.
Franklin Cudjoe, commenting on the development said in a Facebook post that, “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 platform has been DEAD for a significant 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,” he said.
He thus called on the government to take urgent steps to address the problem.
“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.”