The National Identification Authority (NIA) is preparing to roll out an expanded national identification programme effective September 1 this year.
In line with preparations, the NIA has been making its premises more congenial, while workers have been re-oriented in readiness of the new phase of the NIA.
Additionally, the national database, now obsolete with years, is being revamped for the expanded national identification programme that is to support the economic progress of the country.
At the National Policy Forum in Accra last Monday, the Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, announced the commencement of the national identification exercise by September this year.
That was to be done in conjunction with a digital house numbering project in July.
Readiness of Authority
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive of the NIA, Professor Kenneth Attafuah, was upbeat about the readiness of the authority.
Giving an overview, he said various committees were currently assessing the capabilities and resources of the NIA, adding that if the decision was to start afresh or to pick up from where the previous administration left off in 2014, workers at the authority were ready to roll out the programme.
He added that since assuming office at the NIA in February this year, he had fixed taps that were clogged and restored electricity to the premises.
He said he met a situation where workers had to virtually haul buckets to floors to get washrooms working.
According to him, bills that had piled up and had resulted in no power supply to the facility had now been sorted out through the efforts of workers and some benevolent Ghanaians.
“We have literally washed the building, painted it ourselves and moved away all rusted railings,” he said.
Referring to the national database that would support the National Identification System (NIS), Prof. Attafuah said “significant upgrading is needed.”
According to him, the NIA had already advertised for technical suppliers to put things in order before September.
The National Identification Programme was started in 2009 and was suspended in September 2014, when the government announced the re-registration of Ghanaians under a new public/private facility.
The outcry of Ghanaians over a private partner’s involvement in the collection of their personal and bio-metric information resulted in the suspension of the programme to date.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government pledged to get the NIS running and set up financial, legal, technical and oversight committees upon assumption of office.