Ghana needs strategies to improve on remittance flows

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Mr Sampson Akilgoh
Mr Sampson Akilgoh

Mr Sampson Akilgoh, Director, Financial Sector Division, Ministry of Finance, says it has become necessary for the Government to develop strategies to improve on remittance flows into the country.

He said those strategies would also enhance the economic development of the country as a whole.

Mr Akilgoh made these remarks at the GIZ- Ghana Programme Migration and Diaspora Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Remittance in Accra.

The Dialogue on the theme, “Leveraging Remittances for Recovery and Resilience Post-Covid 19,” marked the International Family Day of Remittances.

He said to better support diaspora finance and the ability to innovate, the Bank of Ghana (Central Bank), Decentralized Autonomous Organization, Ministry of Finance, and the banks should develop a campaign around banking their diasporas to channel more productive investments as well as create opportunities to introduce beneficiaries to a broader range of financial services including savings and affordable insurance products.

He said consumer protection regulations, particularly in the areas of disclosure of fees should be extended to include international remittances transactions, for both inward and outbound remittances.

The Director said the Bank of Ghana and the Financial Intelligence Centre should issue instructions/guidance on the AML/CFT guidelines for international remittances.

“lmprove data collection to help inform innovation in the market and encourage
product design. Reliable data will help policy development,” he said.

Mr Akilgoh said financial education initiatives to be developed should include financial literacy training on international remittances, including improving the understanding of total cost of international remittance transactions and how they were derived.

He said the country should leverage on the Ghana Card in addressing issues with fraudulent accounts and authorities should learn from the experience in Nigeria with the BVN, and their approach to ensuring all accounts were linked to biometric information.

He said remittance service providers authorized to operate in the Ghanaian market should be required to disclose the total costs of a transaction, including whether there were additional charges at the receiving end of the transaction.

Mr Akilgoh called on Bank of Ghana to review the regime for international money transfer operators to use the Banks for send money to the country.

Mr Gerald Guskowski, the Coordinator of the Network for inclusive Economic Development Cluster at GIZ-Ghana, said the recent data shared by the World Bank showed an increase in the remittances to Ghana in 2020, the very year global remittances were predicted to decline by about 20 per cent.

He said despite the impact of COVID-19 on global economies, remittances to Ghana according to World Bank’s 2021 Migration
and Development report, shot up by 5 per cent to US$3.6 billion last year alone with
Ghana ranking second behind Nigeria.

The Cluster Coordinator said when migrants send money back home, they contribute to several of the goals set in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

These Sustainable Development Goals include No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-Being; Quality Education;
Clean Water and Sanitation; Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Reduced Inequality.

He said remittances flows were becoming an increasingly salient issue in the
international debate on migration and development.

“Remittances are perceived as one of the key benefits that migration bring to originating countries,” he said.

Mr Guskowski said the potential of remittances was enormous and it had become a solid resource base for leveraging human development, financial inclusion and investment in a productive capacity.

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