The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched an Integrated ICT System to enhance the operations of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).

Among others, the system will support the operations of MASLOC by processing loan disbursement digitally, increase access to their products and services, reduce the human interface in their operations and increase efficiency through enhanced performance.

Performing the launch in Accra on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Vice President Bawumia expressed delight that such a crucial aspect of the Ghanaian SME sector had embraced modern technology and the use of ICT in service delivery, as it would place MASLOC in a position to respond appropriately to the changing world order arising from the effects of Covid 19.

“The implementation of what we can call the ‘MASLOC Card’ could not have come at a better time. It will make public sector service delivery and the administration of credit schemes simpler and effective.

“Ghana, before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, had taken a decision to aggressively pursue digitization. The President has had a clear position on this matter of digitization and development. But the global pandemic has reaffirmed the position of the President that building a digital economy is the way to go.

“Yes, the COVID-19 has been destructive in many ways of our lives. But destructive events can catalyze change for the better. We are witnessing the awakening of a new world order. Business will not be as usual after the crisis. An obvious change after the crisis will be an increased confidence in technology. Online payment systems will be radicalized and institutions will have no option but to subscribe to digital service delivery.”

Emphasising the critical role MASLOC plays in the credit market, Dr Bawumia noted that people who would otherwise not have had access to credit in the formal credit sector are assessed and assisted by the scheme, helping family businesses and budding entrepreneurs to get the start up.

Government, he pledged, will continue to improve the resource allocation to MASLOC to ensure that it reaches out to the unbanked majority, especially women and the youth across the country.

“Particularly significant is the fact that roughly 80% of MASLOC loans are disbursed to female applicants”.

The Vice President called on all MDAs to embrace technology in the delivery of goods and service to the general public, stressing that it is a “tested approach to increasing productivity of Ghana.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Stephen Amoah, indicated that with the Integrated ICT System, MASLOC is poised to effectively deliver on its objective of providing funds to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), especially the unbanked customers who form a greater percentage of the informal sector of the economy.

He explained that applicants are expected to receive the results of their applications within 24 hours, with the card containing such vital information as the applicant’s Tax Identification Number, Ghana Post GPS address, and also useable on ATM machines.

The launch ceremony was attended by among others Finance Minister Hon Ken Ofori Atta, who pledged liquidity support for MASLOC operations; the Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei Opare; Deputy MASLOC CEOs Abibata Shani Mahama and Maame Afua Akoto, officials of the Bank of Ghana, ARB Apex Bank and Eban Capital, lead providers of the ICT system.

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