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23.10.2008 Business & Finance

Revenue Agencies To Be Automated Soon

By Kingsley Asare - newtimesonline.com

THE government plans to automate the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Service, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Registrar General's Department, Immigration Service and other state revenue creating agencies.

Dr Samuel Somuah, the Director General of Ghana Innovation and Communications Technology (GICTED), a state agency for the promotion of the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT),  announced this at the celebration of Innovation Week at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT.

The celebration themed: 'ICT' Innovation – with Open Source and Mobile Content, is being attended by ICT experts from sister African countries including Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Kenya, Benin and South Africa.

It showcases ICT products, creates awareness on the numerous prospects ICT provides as well as rewards ICT personnel on innovation, developing new technologies, updating those technologies and adapting them for local use.

Dr Somuah said the automation project was to promote efficiency, enhance information sharing, reduce corruption in state agencies and facilitate state business while reducing the cost and time of doing business with the state agencies.

“The current arrangement where the police have to write to the Immigration Service requesting information on people travelling into the country, which takes some time before the information is given, would be a thing, of the past.”

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, who launched the celebration said Innovation Week creates a platform for stakeholders from business, technology and academia to come together to share knowledge and ideas as well as create new business opportunities that would eventually transform the economy.

He underscored the need for the country to embrace ICT to transform the economy, particularly in  agro-based industry, stressing that appropriate use of information would improve all initiatives that would help the country turn around its society into a prosperous one.

“By empowering our entire society in the appropriate use of technology, we will be able to promote social and economic progress, both in the urban and the rural areas,” he stated.

Dr Akoto Osei said ICT had proved to be the right instrument needed to propel the country's growth by enabling Ghana convert data into information needed for appropriate decisions, industrial development and value-added production.

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