Business News of 2013-12-31

20 State agencies to operate one-stop service centre

Twenty government agencies, including Ghana Post, are to begin operating an integrated administration service centre next year.

The one-stop service centre, which is to be located at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, is being funded by the Eximbank of China at the cost of GH¢ 1.3 million.

It is scheduled to be completed in the second week of February next year.

The initiative is part of the country’s e-government platform project to provide a one-stop service for the public and also enhance fast and professional delivery of services by the agencies concerned.

Among the 20 government service providers to operate from the centre include the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company Limited, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Police Service.

At a short ceremony to break the ground for the project, the Minister of Communication, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, said the ministry had key performance indicators and once they were met, the project would be replicated in other parts of the country.

The minister said the project was part of the government’s diversification of the operations of Ghana Post to make it more profitable.

That, Dr Boamah said, opened up opportunities for e-commerce.

“Even if you communicate with someone through e-mail, parcels cannot go through email. We are tilting the services of Ghana Post towards these new opportunities that are emerging.

It is to make life more bearable and comfortable for the Ghanaian public because you don’t have to struggle to locate where to find the services that will be provided,” he added.

The project

The opening of the centre will mean that services including the payment of water and electricity bills, buying passport forms and even renewing driver’s licenses will be under the same roof.

The advent of mobile phones and the internet has rendered the postal services of Ghana post unprofitable.

That notwithstanding, parcel delivery services continue to be on high demand.

The project is being executed by Paulet Company Limited and Huawei Technologies (Gh) Limited.

Funded by the World Bank, the $40 million e-Ghana project is part of an initiative to assist the Ghana Government to generate growth and employment by leveraging Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and public-private partnerships.

It is to develop the IT-enabled services industry, and to contribute to improved efficiency and transparency of selected government functions through e-government applications.