Plug The Loopholes In Money Transfers Please.

Thu, 26 May 2011 Source: Quaye, Stephen A.

Stephen A. Quaye, Advices Government.

Last year the government acknowledged the contributions made by Ghanaians residing abroad towards developing the country in terms of monies they transferred or wired to their families back home.

No wonder Ghanaians living abroad these days transfers a lot of money through the money gram or western union money transfer system to parents, children, sisters and brothers as well as friends to carry out businesses on their behalf.

Looking at the amount of money Ghanaians all over the world sent home that made the government to praise the citizenry for such good work, there was no way the system should continue to face problems or person’s either sending or receiving should be made to encounter any problem at all in that field.

However, despite the great achievement made that attracted government commendation, it has been discovered that the transaction continues to face a whole lot of problems which if solved could increase the number of people who send money home from their overseas countries.

I had an email from home indicating how serious my grandfather needed money to solve a problem for me. I dashed down to a post office in a nearby mall and transferred the money through money gram on April 23, 2011.

The next fifteen minutes the money was in Ghana for my grandfather to receive but he went to the bank the next morning only to be told his I.D was old and for that matter could not receive the money.

Just look at an 86 year old man travelling from Koforidua Akwadum on a busy market day on Thursday to receive money only to be told you could not receive the money because your I.D. card was old?

Suppose he was seriously sick and needed the money to purchase drugs to safe his life what would have happened? As I am filing this piece I checked on my laptop and lo and behold the money is still there untouched.

The government has appreciated the fact that Ghanaians do well in sending money home from their foreign base but what is it doing to make the transaction stress free to entice more people to get onboard?

When I visited home for my short vacation, I made one of my trusted friends transferred money to me to attend to a business which was urgent. Within fifteen minutes the money was in Ghana to receive.

However I had a shock of my life where all my I.D’s I submitted for collection were rejected as the people working at the bank only asked for a Ghanaian passport or voters card so I had to let the person withdraw the earlier transfer and retransferred it to my wife before I was able to receive the money. What a sweating business?

Bankers often times point accusing fingers at people who have set up their own ways and means in transacting business in money transfer which does not pass through the banks calling them fraudsters. Meanwhile some people are also finding it easy and freer atmosphere in transacting business with them because there is no stress anywhere in sending and receiving the money.

So it is clear they have identified the loopholes in the business and are plowing to their advantage therefore who can blame them for that?

It is still funny to learn that for a country like Ghana people can only be identified as true applicants or recipients based on two I.D. cards either a passport or voter’s I.D. card therefore if one does not have any of these there is no way he can be identified.

What has happened to the national identification cards? Can some one tell Ghanaians where they are after two years of the programme and uptil now citizens have not gotten them yet? Or we should posit that they are gathering dust in the appropriate offices because someone has not issue the go ahead for it to be distributed to holders.

Over here in Canada, where everyone’s movement per every second to the last second he takes his last breath is recorded. Or the minute you enter the country from its borders till you are certified dead, identifying you is not a problem at all.

If you are an immigrant, apart from your passport, you are issued a president permit card which can also be used to identify you at anywhere.

Then you can also have your driver’s license card then possibly have also a work place identification card which all can be used to identify you in whatever transactions which demands for identification.

But back home in Ghana it is interesting to know that people walk around with no piece of I.D. on them so you want to send money to them it becomes a problem meanwhile the government also blames wayside money transfer operators describing them as illegal operators.

In Canada where freedom of movement is fully practiced, one can walk to the western union money mart with his registered card in hand and by punching the figures the operator can pull all the information about the client even verify his last taken photograph at a counter where he sent money and see if he is truly the one before going ahead with the transaction.

If it found out that he is not the true client but has stolen some ones card it will indicate and before he realizes the operator has used his computer to alert the police who would be ready to arrest the imposter and take him away.

Do we have such system in Ghana?

I think the government must pay more attention to sending and receiving money to Ghana business and task the banks to improve on it because if it has been identified as one area where it received a lot of money to do its business then it should not play jokes with it at all because Ghanaians living abroad now a days, are determined no matter the toil of their blood send their earnings back home to initiate business and raise meaningful families.

Let the bankers come out with a simple but well secure identification system that can help beneficiaries send and receive money without any stress, by increasing their working hours on weekends.

If the Oyibo man through slave trade used force to transfer all the natural resources from Ghana to his country. It is time for Ghanaians to transfer all those natural resources back to Ghana but this time transfer the money they receive as pay for the development of our country therefore the grounds should be fertile for that.


Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.