The National Identification Authority (NIA) has so far registered 5.9 million (5,907,536) people as at the end of 2019 in the ongoing nationwide mass registration exercise.
Of this number, the authority has printed 5.1 million (5,167,994) cards.
Data from the NIA reveals that 3.3 million (3,323,839) of the printed cards have been issued to registrants while persons who did not receive their cards can pick them up at designated places.
The exercise which currently ongoing in the Ashanti Region has so far registered one million (1,015,259) people in the region as at the end of 2019.
In the Ashanti Region, 761,263 cards have been printed while 552,796 cards have been issued to registrants.
Meanwhile, the NIA has extended the mass registration exercise throughout the Ashanti Region from January 10 to 16.
The extension is intended to restore the two registration days lost in December last year (27 and 28) because of the Christmas holidays.
A statement issued by Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Mr Francis Palmdeti, the Head of Public Affairs of the NIA, said the extension also took into account the challenges it encountered in the first two days of the exercise in the region.
It said the move would also enable many prospective applicants in communities across the region who could not register because of the late arrival of some registration equipment to do so.
“NIA is concerned about the disturbing phenomenon of unusually large numbers of persons whose applications are ‘Awaiting Decision’ or have gone into ‘Adjudication’ and, therefore, have not had their cards printed and issued to them in the Ashanti Region.
“This situation frequently arises from discrepancies in the current versus previous biographic data of an applicant, particularly conflicts in date of birth, the spelling of names, change of names and addition of names without the requisite legal documentation backing them.
For instance, where an applicant presented July 1, 1987 in a previous NIA registration but indicates July 1, 1985, in the current registration as his/her date of birth, noting that conflicts such as change of date of birth are particularly manifest in data submitted to NIA currently, compared to data submitted to NIA previously.
The net effect of this situation is that tens of thousands of applicants are unable to get their cards and vouch for their relatives.
The statement indicated that the NIA’s technical system was sensitive and robust enough to detect slight variations in biographic data, as well as acute similarities in biometric data between two or more individuals.
“The system is designed to ‘arrest”’ all suspicious registrations in order to ensure that our National Identity Register is credible and dependable,” it said.
The NIA said adjudication and release of the cards of applicants with relatively “minor issues” are currently underway, and thousands of such cards have been printed and are ready for issuance.
Central, Western and Western North regions
The mass registration exercise is expected to commence in the Central, Western and Western North regions immediately after the Ashanti Region mass registration ends.
In addition, it is the expectation of the NIA that registration on the 16th and final region in the Eastern Region starts by late February to mid-March this year.
Meanwhile, it said the leapfrogging technique, which has been in use since the start of the mass registration exercise in the Greater Accra Region on April 29, last year, should help ensure that every nook and cranny of the Ashanti Region is covered.
That system has been applied in the Volta, Oti, Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper West, Upper East, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions.
It said that although not every eligible Ghanaian can be registered during the mass registration phase, the NIA seeks to register 80% of the population aged 15 and above.
Therefore, the remaining registrable population of Ghanaians under 15, would be registered after the mass registration exercise.
More so, NIA would establish permanent NIA offices in each region, municipality and district by the middle of March, to ensure continuous registration.
It said prospective applicants will, at their leisure, visit NIA offices and get registered at no cost.
NIA staff will also visit schools, hospitals, maternity wards, CHPS-compounds and other birthing centres to register all Ghanaian children.
This way, all Ghanaians aged zero to infinity will be registered.
Starting later this month, NIA will also operate offices jointly with a number of cognate institutions such as National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Births and Deaths Registry, and the Ghana Statistical Service.
It noted that the co-location arrangement should enable applicants doing business at any of those offices to also register for the Ghana Card with ease and at no cost.
The authority entreated Ghanaians to provide evidence of bribery and corruption allegedly being perpetrated by some NIA registration staff to the appropriate quarters for investigation and the necessary action.