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Opinions of Thursday, 21 September 2017

Columnist: Raphael Kumah Abolasom

Going paperless, a sure way to economic digitisation and minimizing chronic corruption


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“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery”- Octavia Butler.

The above quotation goes further to buttress the point, that whatever we want our country to be, greatly depends on who and who we choose as our leaders. Leadership is a key part of nation’s development and for us to at this crucial moment, have a leadership that is committed to employing all available means and resources to fighting corruption through diverse means, is worth commending.

The introduction of the paperless system by the NPP government is one great call of a lifetime. This can be equated to “a terrorist attack” on endemic corruption that has bedeviled various areas of our economy. That is not to say that, the paperless system do not have its challenges, it does!

Computer hardware and software are essential components of paperless systems, hence upgrades will have to be done periodically and this comes at cost. Procuring the services if IT personnel and equipping them with the requisite skills, equally comes with a cost. We cannot rule out the network challenges and glitches that may be encountered. Relentless efforts should therefore be made, to address these challenges and to prevent any unforeseen impending misfortunes that the system may encounter.

I must further admit, that although it’s difficult and almost practicably impossible to totally eliminate paper from workflow, yet it is a worthy call; for Rome wasn’t built in a single day. We will definitely get there!!

With the paperless system, the Chances of losing important documents are lower when scanned and filed electronically. Going paperless, hence processing documents electronically opens up the opportunity for employees to work remotely and to offer flexible work schedules particularly if we employ remote access to a company’s system. This can improve efficiency and the offering of cutting edge services by a company.

This system will check fraudulent transactions and nefarious activities of the criminals in our various workplaces; as the system will be accessible to many employees or operatives. It will clamp down situations where until you pay a bribe, your documents wouldn’t be signed.

The system, if prudently emphasized, implemented in various sectors and monitored, will become one of Ghana’s greatest dossiers to suffocating corruption and thievery, most especially in our industrial outfits. Let us not also forget, that the bad nuts in the system will try all possible means to stifle the system. Our laws must show no mercy to such persons when they are caught. You and I must see it as our responsibility in bringing to light some of these ills of society for our collective interest and survival.

A few weeks ago, the paperless system implemented at our ports realized a whooping GHC213 Million, representing a 56% increment in revenue collection as against ghc130 million for the same period in the previous year. So, one would ask, what accounted for such a huge increase? Your guess is as good as mine. Revenue leakages and corruption is gradually being nabbed in the bud.
The paperless system will contribute to the digitization of Ghana’s economy, thereby resulting in better economic planning and a positive radical boost in revenue mobilization and prudent auditing. The paperless system will soon catch up with CHPS compounds and health centres and later, hospitals.

Thus, they will be using IT to prescribe and attend to patients. This is in a bid to catch up with modern trends of healthcare delivery. It will also eschew from the system, the tendencies where wrong drugs are administered to clients due to illegible medical prescriptions. The intention of the government to launch a paperless address system in locating streets, offices and residential places is a laudable and smart initiative that is equally worth commending.

You can’t put a crown on a clown and expect a king. Therefore, we need to use different approaches in tackling our problems head-on. We know exactly what our problems in this country are. Fortunately for us, we have a leadership that has the political will and vigor to fight our challenges and is committed to this fight; actions and not just words. You can’t stop this fire from rising! A leadership with a purpose, lets join hands and help the government to succeed, for there is power in synergy. For God and Country, Ghana must stand!

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