The National Identification Authority (NIA) is today, Friday, starting the mass registration of people in the Northern, North East and Savannah regions for the Ghana Card.
The roll-out of the mass registration which started in the Greater Accra region and moved to Volta and Oti regions has so far registered 2,902,035 eligible Ghanaians.
Addressing the media to mark the commencement of the exercise in the three regions, the Executive Secretary of the NIA Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah said the Authority has put in place measures for the success of the process.
“I am happy to announce that the NIA is set to commence registration for the Ghana Card in the Savannah, North East and Northern Regions from Friday October 4, 2019 and end on Wednesday October 23, 2019,” he stressed.
About 750 registration centres have been established in all district capitals in the three regions for the 3-week exercise.
Commenting on the relevance of the Ghana Card, Prof. Attafuah said the card would serve multi-purpose role of citizenship recognition and/or determination, data integration, harmonization of identification systems, as well as data storage.
“Contrary to popular misconception, the NIS goes beyond just the issuance of identity cards; it includes citizenship recognition and/or determination, data integration, harmonization of identification systems, as well as data storage and exchange systems for all Ghanaians living in Ghana or and abroad, from cradle to grave and foreigners legally resident in Ghana,” he explained.
There are up to 14 applets that can be loaded on the cards, one of which is a Common Payment Application (CPA).
There are three International ID profiles that allow citizens to verify identities internationally and to access digital platforms to undertake electronic transactions.
Explaining the eligibility criteria for registration, the Executive Secretary said every Ghanaian, aged between zero and infinity, was qualified to register and issued with the Ghana Card.
He said the Ghana Card is fully- compliant with the ECOWAS biometric ID card specifications and has tactile properties that allow the blind to identify it.
Prof. Attafuah warned foreigners to desist from taking part in the registration, stressing that the law would deal with such people and their Ghanaian accomplices.
“This registration process is for only Ghanaians. Any foreigner who attempts to register for the Ghana Card violates the laws of Ghana and will, upon arrest, be dealt with in accordance with law. A separate arrangement exists for eligible foreigners to register under the Foreigners Identity Management System (FIMS) Project and to be issued with the Non-Citizen Identity Card,” he stated.
He cautioned the public against bribing the NIA registration officials and urged them to expose officials who demand money from them before, during and after the registration.
“You are not to pay or give money to any of our officials before, during or after the registration process. It will be considered as a bribe and that is criminal. The NIA will deal swiftly and firmly with any credible allegation against registration officials and urge citizens to be awake to their end of the bargain in combating public sector corruption (bribe-taking or extortion) by reporting same to the Police, NIA or other appropriate authorities,” he warned.
According to the NIA, a revised national Mass Registration Plan is currently being prepared to enable the NIA complete the registration and issuance of smart, dual-interface Ghana Cards to 80% of Ghanaians aged 15 years and above by end of December 2019 instead of the earlier advertised end date of March 2020.
So far 2,590,526 cards have been printed and 1,718,021 issued to qualified Ghanaians.