The mass registration of people for the Ghana national identification card (Ghana Card) being issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA) has started in some parts of the Greater Accra Region.
When Graphic Online visited some registration centres, which had been created in the Ga Central and Ablekuma West Municipalities on Monday, the process was ongoing.
Officials were seen busily registering people.
Some of the officers who preferred not to be named said everything was in place to ensure the smooth running of the registration exercise.
According to some of them, they had not encountered any major challenge except a few technical hitches.
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At the McCarthy Hill Junior High School, for instance, the officers were not up to their number and therefore had not set up as of the time Graphic Online visited the place at about 12:20pm.
There were queues at all the centres visited.
Most centres had been created in schools and in church buildings.
In an interview, some of the people who had come for the registration expressed worry over delays in the processing and verification of their documents.
According to the, it was taking a long time for one person to get processed, hence causing long queues at the centres.
At the Dunwell Methodist Church Centre and Wise Mission International School, both at Santa Maria, some of the registrants were furious that the NIA officials were not fast-tracking the process.
“We came here as early as 6 a.m., and they haven’t called even 10 people from the queue,” Isaac Kweku Addae at Antieku told Graphic Online.
He accused the registration officers of “doing protocol work”, explaining that some of the officers smuggled in people who had not joined the queue earlier.
He also expressed concern about the place where the centre had been set up, saying people had to endure stench from stagnant water close to the centre.
For Mr Yaw Adu, who was also at the Ga Central Assembly registration centre, he accused the officers of favouring the staff of the assembly at the expense of people who had come to the centre as early as 4am.
“If the officers knew they are going to register only the staff of the assembly, they should have told us so that we will not come here at all,” Mr Yaw Adu expressed worry about the running of the exercise.
For Kofi Yesu, a registrant, NIA needed to intensify its publicity on the required documents for the registration exercise, saying “they said I can use driver’s license and when I came with my license, they said I cannot use it for the exercise.”
The officer in charge of the Ablekuma North Operational District, which covers 36 registration centres, Mr Kofi Nyarkoh, said all the 36 registration centres in the district have the required equipment for the exercise.
“As we speak now, all the 36 registration centres have the required equipment,” he said, adding that although there were some challenges with the deployment of printers to some centres, the issue had been resolved.
He said the exercise had three phases, namely registration, enrolment and issuance, explaining that most of the centres were “doing well with the registration and issuance.”
Mr Nyarkoh told Graphic Online that some of the registrants come to the centres without the required documents, hence they had to be turned away after they had been educated on the process.
The Unit Committee Chairperson for Santa Maria, Mrs Philomina Opoku-Asare, expressed satisfaction about the exercise but urged the officers to fast track the process in order not to put people off from coming to register.
She said although a lot of people came to the centre even before the officers set up their equipment, many had left the place because of the slow pace of the exercise at the Santa Maria Electoral area.