NIA seeks legal backing to commercialise some activities, products

A Legislative Instrument (L.I) is currently before parliament to regulate fees, licences, charges, and other pay­ments to be made by Ghanaians and other user agencies of the products and services of the National Identification Authority (NIA).

Section 18 (1) (0) of Act 707, that is, the National Identification Authority Act 2006, states that on the advice of a board and by legislative instrument, regulations are to be made “to prescribe fees payable under this act.”

Dr William Ahadzie, the Executive Secretary of the NIA, in an interview with the Daily Graphic said the legislative in­strument would essentially give the au­thority legal backing to commercialise some of its activities and products.

He stressed that the administration of the national identification system would still be classified and operated within international standards of personal identifi­cation management.

The legal backing to commercialise some of its activities, Dr Ahadzie ex­plained, related to the fees, licences and charges that the NIA would get from other institutions that would be relying on its data.

These fees would also be charged when an agency wanted the identification of a person they wanted to do business with authenticated.

That meant that corporate Ghana, fi­nance and banking institutions would have to pay some fees to the NIA if they wanted the identity of a potential client verified, Dr Ahadzie explained.

For all Ghanaians who had registered, identification cards would be given, how­ever, when a person lost the Ghana card, some fees would be charged to replace it, he added.

He stressed that initial mass registration and card distribution exercises were free as the government was providing for that, however, when all these activities were over, anyone who lost the card would have to pay a prescribed fee for replacement.

Dr Ahadzie added that with the viabil­ity of the NIA, the legislative instrument would also regulate its activities as it used its capacity in card production to generate custom-made smart cards to make finan­cial transactions easier across the country and reduce in real time, transactions in­volving large sums of money.

In September 2011 the NIA was as­sessed on its viability and had a rating of “bankable,” from the international con­sulting firm, Ernst and Young.

The rating meant that the NIA and its management of a national database was a promising venture with the possibility of generating funds from its activities for government coffers.

Source: Daily Graphic

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