Members of Parliament have deplored the rising incidences of armed robbery attacks on Mobile Money vendors and the threats these crimes are posing to the growth of the sector.
According to members, it will be a travesty if the government should look on unconcerned for the industry to be brought to its knees by criminals, considering the number of jobs the sector has created for many young Ghanaians.
Contributing to a statement on the growing robberies on Mobile Money businesses last Friday, the members made a passionate appeal to the Speaker to refer the matter to the Defense and Interior Committee to propound solutions to ensure the safety of those who have invested or have been engaged to work in the sector.
Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South, Mr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije in whose name the statement stood, noted that Mobile Money services have made life a lot easier for many young Ghanaians.
According to him, the value of Mobile Money transactions increased from GH¢32.8 billion in April 2020 to GH¢83.8 billion by the end of April 2021, which is more than a 150% increment.
He lamented, however, that behind this exciting news of growth in the value of Mobile Money transfer transactions and the convenience it provides users are the incidents of criminal attacks on vendors.
Vendors, he said, have become prime targets of robbers in addition to the activities of hackers who spare no efforts to steal from users.
“A month doesn’t go by without some grim news of armed robbers attacking a vendor across the length and breathe of this country and with some fatalities.”
“Simply put, operating a Mobile Money service is now very risky,” he said.
Mr. Vanderpuije noted that vendors now live in constant fear of being robbed or killed each day they go out to work and stressed this threat must be addressed as soon as possible.
“These attackers are making life difficult; they are attacking jobs. They are attacking an important service within our dear nation,” he said.
He, however, noted that the setup of some vendors is a problem and a challenge as many of them are doing table and chair business, which makes them easy targets for armed robbers.
He stated that in order to address this situation there should be more police officers on the ground; in patrol vehicles, on motorbikes, bicycles, and even on foot where necessary.
He also urged Mobile Money service owners to make their businesses more secure for vendors and stressed the need for the populace to also look out for each other and take note of strange people in their vicinity to ferret out the criminals.
2nd Deputy Speaker, Hon. Andrew Asiamah Amoako who presided over the sitting, referred the statement to the Defence and Interior Committee as requested to work on and report back to the House.