ACCRA, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has pledged the government’s commitment to institute policies and programmes which propel Ghana’s vision to be the financial services hub for Africa to reality.

Towards this end, the Government will adopt a sustainable approach to financial integration by developing structures, institutions and human resources. Ghana’s quest for regional financial integration will be pursued in tandem with the need for greater private sector integration, he adds.

Delivering a keynote address to the 21st National Banking Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers here Tuesday, the Vice-president said the government recognized that before the country could develop and remain competitive on the global market, certain fundamental measures had to be put in place, and it had therefore started rolling out digitization programmes.

These include the National Identification System, National Property Addressing System, the implementation of the Paperless Ports project, e-procurement processes, digitization of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and the digitizsation of other State institutions, to promote financial inclusion, enhance efficiency and minimize corruption.

Noting that these are the building blocks to improve the country’s resource mobilization and ensure operational efficiency, Dr Bawumia said: “We need to have the soft infrastructure to support the banking industry and this is what is driving the national ID card, digital addressing system and other digital programmes so that we can trace customers, build a robust referencing regime and these will be fundamental in reducing interest rate and strengthening the stability of the banking system.”

The Vice-President announced that the Government would next undertake the digital registration of land titles from next year to boost the mortgage market. He said the current mortgage relative to income in the country was the highest in the world and noted that this would not help in developing the mortgage market.

He said using property to secure a loan was important to boost the economy, but there was difficulty in authenticating property owners, therefore, the digitization of the land title registration would help in that regard.

Vice President Bawumia also said the government recognized that high interest rates were bedevilling the banking industry, and had instituted prudent policies to ensure sound fiscal and macro-economic sustainability that would engender economic growth.

He said high interest rate had made it difficult for creditors to promptly pay back their loans, which was adversely affecting the liquidity of financial institutions and assured that, both the Government and the Central Bank were playing their respective roles of controlling and ensuring the stability of the fiscal environment.