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NIMC DG explaining issue during a press conference in Lagos

Multiple ID system hindering effective credit delivery –Ghanaian expert

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At a time the Director General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engineer Aliyu Aziz had been crusading the need for all Nigerian to go and register for his or her National Identity Number (NIN); a lead to national ID Card access, Ghanaian expert in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), Mr. Mawuko Williams, has called for the adoption of a single national Identification (ID) system to facilitate effective and efficient credit delivery in Africa and Ghana in particular.

Williams, a Frankfurt School of Business and Management personnel noted that a central data-based national ID arrangement could boost the growth of businesses in the continent as against the current multiple system that hinders effective credit delivery in the country.

In Nigeria today, there are several acceptable ID Card systems waiting for harmonization including Drivers’ Licence, BVN, International Passport, INEC Voters’ Card, National ID Card and several others.

Explaining issues during a Financial Literacy and Public Awareness Campaign workshop on Credit Reporting and Collateral Registry for selected Journalists in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana, Williams averred that “A multiple borrower with different IDs bearing different names obviously would not help a lender to know the borrower’s total indebtedness upon cross checking with the Credit Reference Bureau”.

“In Ghana, SMEs has 80 billion financing gap and if banks could make money available to them, they would expand and more job opportunities would be created to meet the 350 million new jobs required in Africa for the next 20 years.

He said MSMEs were the engines of growth and development responsible for over 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 60 percent of employment.

For businesses to contribute more to GDP, then they ought to have access to credit, hence the need for credit infrastructure such as credit bureaus, collateral registry, and identity system as well as insolvency regime to enable a responsible credit system, Williams said

In his remarks, the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Godfred Cudjoe said financial institutions needed a nationally acceptable and well harmonized information on borrowers to be able to make an informed decision before granting credit facilities.

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