All is set for the nationwide registration for the national identity card (Ghana Card), beginning Monday, May 28, 2018, Prof. Ken Agyemang Attafuah, the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), has said.
The Ghana Card will replace the sectoral identity cards in circulation and become the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required as provided by law.
Among other things, it will enable other stakeholders to run their applications on the national identity card.
Prof. Attafuah explained that the registration would start from the Greater Accra Region on May 28, 2018.
According to him, the NIA was aiming to register all Ghanaian citizens in Ghana within one year.
“Approximately six months after the commencement of the national exercise in Ghana, we will also commence the registration of Ghanaians in the Diaspora," Prof. Attafuah said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
He said in the Greater Accra Region, “we will be here for approximately three months. A lot will depend on the speed with which the registration goes”.
It was estimated that when someone got to a registration centre, he would not spend more than 30 minutes and walk away with a card, he said.
“There is a human factor there — the person operating the equipment — and weather conditions and all of that. To the extent possible we will use technology to address most of the problems that we had encountered some 10 years ago, but there is still the human element.
“Our expectation is that this job will be done very professionally and meticulously and we will, in about three months, at most, register every Ghanaian in Greater Accra,” he added.
The roll-out strategy, according to him, would be published and everyone would have the opportunity to see where he or she would have to register.
Prof. Attafuah said the registration centres would be similar to what the Electoral Commission used during the registration of voters.
He said at 7 a.m. on Monday, May 28 when the exercise would start in the Greater Accra Region, the NIA would pitch camp at key state agencies and institutions, including the Jubilee House, Parliament, the Judicial Service and the various security agencies, to register officials there.
Key individuals such as former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Mahama, and the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) would be registered and issued with their cards first before registration opens for the public, he added.
“We will be on the premises of these institutions and key sectors of relevance of this society, registering them and issuing the cards to them instantly,” he said.
Prof. Attafuah added that officers within the banking and the educational sectors would also be issued with the cards ahead of the mass regional registration exercise.
From the Greater Accra Region, the registration team will move to the Volta Region, followed by the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Western, Ashanti, Eastern and Central regions.
Prof. Attafuah said apart from Greater Accra, where the team would spend three months, the NIA would spend two months in the Ashanti Region and one month in each of the other regions.
Proof of citizenship
The National Identity Register (Amendment) Bill, 2017 has done away with the use of voters identity cards (IDs), driving licences and baptismal certificates as proof of citizenship.
It, however, maintains the use of birth certificates and passports.
The act further introduces residence permits and other documents covering acquired citizenship.
This time around, ample arrangements have been made in the act to enable those who do not have birth certificates or passports to register.
The identity of such applicants could be vouched by two relatives or two non-relatives to be determined by the NIA.
Applicants will be required to provide information, including birth certificate numbers, street names, electronic mails, telephone numbers and digital address codes.
Others include their passport numbers and dates of issue, social security numbers, tax identification numbers and driving licence numbers.
Registration of children
The NIA will register all children under six years of age and give them unique identification numbers.
The unique numbers will be tied to the particulars of their mothers or those of their fathers, in the absence of their mothers.
Challenge of eligibility
The act extends the power to initiate challenge proceedings to members of the public.
Hitherto, the power to challenge the eligibility of applicants was confined to only officers and persons authorised by the NIA at its registration centres.
Applicants who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal procedures may bring an action at the High Court.
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