Nationwide registration for 'Ghana card' to begin middle of 2018

The nationwide registration for the national identity card (Ghana card) is to begin latest by the middle of 2018.

The acting Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Professor Ken Attafuah, gave the hint to journalists after the passage of the National Identity Register (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by Parliament last Friday.

He said the President was expected to accent to the Act by the end of this week.

Thereafter, he said, a Legislative Instrument (LI) for the Ghana card registration would be laid in Parliament.

Prof Attafuah said it was after the maturation of the LI that the Authority would determine the commencement date of the registration exercise.

The passage of the Bill followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which had recommended its passage.

According to the report signed by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, the purpose of the Bill was to amend some aspects of the National Identification Authority Act, 2016 to bring the law in tune with modern trends and to ensure the accuracy and integrity of Ghana's national identification system.

Proof of citizenship

The Act has done away with the use of voter's identity cards (IDs), drivers' license 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.

According to the report, ample arrangements had been made in the Act to enable those who do not have birth certificates or passports to register.

The report indicated that the identity of such applicants could be vouched by two relatives, or by two non-relatives to be determined by the NIA.

Personal information

The applicants would be required to provide information, including the applicants' birth certificate numbers, street names, electronic mails, telephone numbers and the digital address codes.

Others would include their passport numbers and their dates of issue, social security numbers, tax identification numbers and drivers' licences numbers.

Registration of children

The NIA would register all children under six years of age and give them unique identification numbers.

The unique numbers would be tied to the particulars of their mothers or that of their fathers, in the absence of the mothers.

Challenge of eligibility

The Act extends the power to initiate challenge proceedings to members of the public.

Hitherto, the power to challenge 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.