Passengers will soon be able to check on their phones if the trotro or bus they are about to board has been properly insured, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed.

If all goes according to plan, the database of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) and the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) will soon be integrated and go live in January 2020 to complete another plank of the Digitisation Agenda of the Nana Akufo-Addo administration as part of efforts to make accessing government services easier and corruption-free.

Speaking at a special National Insurance Commission Cocktail Reception which brought together key players in the insurance sector on Wednesday, 11th December, 2019, Vice President Bawumia noted that the insurance industry has very important roles to play in the digitization programmes of government, and since insurance is interwoven with the entire architecture of the economy, it is heart-warming to know that the industry is digitizing its operations.

“After meetings with the DVLA and the National Insurance Commission about creating better synergies between them, it is expected that the Motor Insurance Database will be connected to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) system in January 2020 so that before a vehicle is issued with a road worthiness certificate, it can be verified whether it has a valid insurance cover from a licensed insurance company.

“The Motor database will also make it possible for the travelling public to verify the authenticity of the insurance policies of commercial vehicles before they board such vehicles. All you have to do is to enter the number of the car on your phone, even if it is a ‘yam’ phone, and you can tell if the trotro or bus you are about to board is properly insured or not. You will know whether you are safe sitting in that car. This certainly brings better awareness and protection for the ordinary Ghanaian.

“The database will also help to stop the leakages from the insurance revenues through fake motor insurance stickers. Already, after the digitisation of the DVLA, the incidence of ‘Goro boys’ has been curtailed. Same thing has happened at the Passport Office. So we are getting there. The digitisation agenda, which is designed to make accessing government services easier, is on course.”

Vice President Bawumia noted that even though digitization brings significant advantages and opportunities, it also creates vulnerabilities which could be critical and therefore need to be carefully managed. Government, he added, is therefore taking several steps to protect the nation’s information infrastructure as part of the digitization programme.

“First of all, appropriate laws have been passed to provide the needed framework for the fight against cyber criminals. The Electronic Transactions Act and the Electronic Payments Act regulate and protect electronic transactions and payments. The Data Protection Act also protects the private data of government, citizens and businesses in Ghana.

“Secondly, a National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy has been developed to monitor and protect the nation’s cyber space. Again, the national SIM re-registration exercise scheduled for early 2020 is another initiative to mitigate cyber-crimes committed using mobiles phones.”

While commending the board, management and staff of the National Insurance Commission for a good job so far, Vice President Bawumia urged them to closely collaborate with the industry and relevant government institutions such as the DVLA and NITA to ensure that its digitization efforts are in sync with the government’s policy and strategies to help achieve the intended objectives and optimize the expected benefits.

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