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Business News of Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Source: GNA

Registrar General inaugurates Client Service Unit

Accra, Feb. 27, GNA - The Registrar General's Department on Wednesday inaugurated a Client Service Unit to reduce business registration time and serve its customers better.

In addition, the Company also introduced an electronic (online) registration of businesses, an automated front desk office aimed at reducing delays and also stamping out corrupt practices. This means that registration of businesses in Ghana would be fast-tracked and streamlined within a maximum of five days, compared with the 14 days stipulated by the World Bank.

With the innovations, Fidelity Bank takes full responsibility for the collection of moneys it receives from clients of the Department. In addition, the Department has opened fully automated offices in Kumasi and Takoradi and will open another in Tamale to decentralize the process of business registration to save time and resources for the many business operators and prospective entrepreneurs who throng the Department for service.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Joe Ghartey, who inaugurated the facility, said the nation could be assured of the creation of more businesses and growth in employment when the time to register a business is reduced, and psychic and monetary wastage eliminated.

He said the requirement for fair, effective and efficient procedures was priority on the agenda of the Business Law Reform Programme. The Attorney General said, "While appreciating the importance of this new development, let us not loose sight of the other challenges of the business community. Indeed the creation of the appropriate institutional framework for business will need the support of a complementary legal framework."

He said, since the enactment of the Companies Act, 1963, Act 179, there had been only few amendments and these were related to the financial assistance in the acquisition of shares, limitations on the powers of directors to among others things waive or modify the applications of prospectuses and statements in lieu of prospectuses, and the control of public invitations relating to external companies. Mr. Ghartey said the preparation of the Companies Bill in 2003, addressed a few of the actual concerns of the business community and also welcomed provisions in the proposed Bill such as the use of information technology to assist in the forwarding of documents and the determination of prescribed fees by the legislative instruments. Government, he said, was still committed to fighting corruption, which was one of the main factors known to increase the cost of doing business, adding that, a World Bank and Transparency International report had shown that about eight per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was lost to corruption which was higher than that of education and health.

He commended the contribution of Mrs. Owiredu Gyampoh, the former Registrar General and all who contributed immensely in bringing the project to fruition.

Mr Joseph Kofi Harley, the Acting Registrar-General said the Department was fully in support of the business law reforms programme being spearheaded by the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General. He said the reforms would ensure that investment made into the Department did not go to waste in addition to reducing stress and corruption.

Mr William Krofa, Member of the Private Enterprise Foundation said the private sector played a key role in the development of the nation as well as alleviating the burden of government in providing employment. "The more the sector employs people the less burden for government," he said and commended the new face of the Department but was quick to add that nice buildings did not provided service, but business oriented people.

He therefore, called for good customer services and a change in the attitudes of workers to boost the image of the Department. 27 Feb. 08