Government equips NIA for National ID card registration

The government has presented 62 Nissan Pick-Up vehicles, 60 motorbikes, two generators and other essential logistics to the National Identification Authority (NIA), to facilitate the nationwide registration of Ghanaians onto the national identification system slated for April this year.

The Parliament, last week, approved amendments to the legislation governing the activities of the NIA and contract for the issuance of the Ghana Card Project.

The registration team of the NIA would commence the registration in the Greater Accra Region for two months before moving to the Central Region.

The registration team is expected to register persons belonging to the security services, staff of the Judiciary and media practitioners first before the general registration of the citizens. 

At the handing-over ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said putting in place a national identification system would be one of the most important reforms any government in the history of Ghana had instituted.

He explained that, for the nation to build a prosperous economy and self-sustaining one, there was the need to have certain building blocks in place to achieve that feat.  

In that regard, he said, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo before assuming the reins of government, promised to roll out the National Identification System so that every Ghanaian would be uniquely identified with a biometric identification card.

That, he said, would help in formalising the national economy, which would help in accomplishing the ‘‘Ghana beyond Aid’’ agenda.

Vice President Bawumia noted that, a central identification database was crucial in every modern economy, therefore, the Government had made resources available for the exercise.

‘‘The vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is to build modern and prosperous economy for Ghana, but to do that and move this economy beyond aid, and one that is self-sustaining, we recognise that, there must be certain building blocks that will help drive that engine.

‘‘One of the key building blocks of the President is to help formalise this country’s economy. 

‘‘We have been operating in a very informal way since independence for the past 61 years and for any modern economy, which we aspire, unique identification is central.

 ‘‘It is one of those critical pillars that nobody is going to force you to put in place…if you do it that’s your benefit,…if you don’t do it that’s your problem, but nobody is going to come out and tell you as a country, you must have a national ID system ,’’ he stated.

Dr Bawumia told the gathering that, the benefits of the National Identification System would be enormous since it would create a central database for other state institutions such as the Social, Security and National Insurance Trust, the Electoral Commission, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Passport Office, the Births and Deaths Registry, the Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to synchronise their data for efficient service delivery.

The Vice President, therefore, urged every Ghanaian to secure his or her digital address because it would be a requirement for registration onto the National Identification System.

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, the Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, who had direct oversight over the NIA, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed appreciation to the government for its untiring efforts towards the rolling out of the national identification system and pledged to put the equipment to good use.

He commended Vice President Bawumia for showing keen interest in the work of the Authority and assured that the NIA was ready to roll out the process.

Dr Akoto Osei said the Communication Team would soon announce the Operational Roll-out Plan for the public awareness campaign so that the people would fully participate in the process.

He said the expertise of the National Commission for Civic Education and the Information Services Department would be required during the mass awareness campaign so that the message would get to every nook and cranny of the country.

Dr Akoto Osei said prospective registrants were supposed to present a valid national identification card, including the Birth Certificate, the Passport and the Naturalisation Certificate.

However, he said, those who did not have any legal verification documents, the law had made provision for them to register under the ‘‘Vouching for Process’

In that regard, he said, the NIA would require a relative of the prospective applicant to identify him or her under an Oath.

Additionally, two persons identified by the NIA Board, who had already registered onto the national identification database would vouch for the applicant’s registration under an Oath.

The registration for the national identification cards started in 2008 but due to technical challenges the process stalled, hence the Government’s resolve to continue the process.

Source: GNA

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