Ghana card vs 1000 interchanges: Bawumia is the 'Wizkid' of contradictions — Economist

A United States of America-based Ghanaian economist, Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu, has said Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia choosing Ghana card 1000 interchanges is unfortunate.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

He described Dr. Bawumia as the 'Wizkid' of contradictions in the country.

Dr. Iddrisu during a zoom lecture with some Ghanaian students in the United States on Ghana's economy on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, said Bawumia's economic prowess has dwindled.

"Prior to the 2016 election, Dr Bawumia made his famous quote that when the fundamentals of the economy are weak, the exchange rate will expose you. Fast forward to 2017-2022 when in government, he comes back now to tell us that falling exchange rate doesn’t mean the economic fundamentals are weak. This is surely a man of contradictions and zero principles.

"This is just one example and if we go back to take all the pre-election 2016 statements made by Dr. Bawumia on the economy and compare them to the statements he is making now in government, you will find dozens of contradictions, with zero principles," he said.

Dr. Bawumia has declared his choice for the Ghana card over road interchanges in the country's quest for development.

According to him, the Ghana Card, is more beneficial than the numerous interchanges constructed across the country.

"We have implemented a national identification system and today we have 16 million Ghanaians with unique identities and that is a major transformation. And sometimes a lot of people don’t even appreciate what the impact of the Ghana Card is.

"But if you gave me 1,000 interchanges and a Ghana Card, I will choose the Ghana Card because it is more impactful," Bawumia said.

Touting the benefits of the Ghana Card, Dr. Bawumia said the single act has simplified the implementation of digitization and has assisted the government in its fight to curb corruption.

Dr. Iddrisu reacting to Bawumia choosing the Ghana card over development said for him (Bawumia) "To say the Ghana card is better than 1000 interchanges is an unfortunate statement that should not be coming from a sitting Vice President."

Dr. Iddrisu said "it's possible that the Ghana card registration may help increase the number of tax payers in the informal sector of the economy since the card is linked to Tax Identification Number (TIN). However, an economy that lacks basic access to improved roads and interchanges to make it easier for farmers and traders to transport their goods and services to the market for sale, should not be thinking it can raise enough taxes just by registering people for Ghana card. You cannot tax people on empty pockets and hungry stomachs. You have to provide them with improved roads, which will then lead to easy movements of their goods and services, translating to higher productivity/revenues and possibly higher tax collection rates. Therefore, 1000 interchanges are far better than Ghana card a million times and not the other way round. However, that is not to say the Ghana card is not an important digitization drive, it is. The comparison made by Dr. Bawumia is what is out of context and very unfortunate, and should not have even been made in the first place.

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