Why NIA decided to register MPs, soldiers, police officers first

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has explained why it decided to first register Parliamentarians, soldiers, police officers and staff of the Judicial Service and Jubilee House before opening the registration to all other Ghanaians.

Related: Technical hitch stops NIA’s planned rollout of Ghana Card registration

This is because, all personnel in the security agencies have the required identity documents to get them registered without having to use the services of commissioners of oath, if people were to vouch for them, according to Prof Ken Attafuah, the Executive Secretary of the NIA.

Per the National Identity Register (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Act 950), a person needs to provide either a birth certificate, a valid passport, a valid residence permit, a valid certificate of acquired citizenship before he or she is issued with a Ghana Card.

However, “Per Section 8(2) of Act 750, as amended, where an applicant is unable to submit any of the above-listed documents, the NIA shall require a relative of the applicant to identify the applicant under oath.

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Related: Ghana Card; those with no ID documents to register under oath

Alternatively, where the applicant has no known relatives available, two persons determined by the NIA Board may identify the applicant under oath.

In short, through this vouching process, every eligible applicant who has none of the aforementioned identity documents will be registered and issued with the national identity card, but that will be under an oath supervised by a Commissioner of Oath.

Related: Ghana Card registration in slow start

Regarding commissioners of oath, it is the sole statutory prerogative of the Judicial Service of Ghana to train and commission commissioners for oaths.

Indications are that, the preparations for the recruitment and training of commissioners of oath for them to start the work is not completed as the advert for recruitment was published just two weeks ago in the newspapers.

But Prof Attafuah said, the Judicial Service has helped with the recruitment of 2700 Commissioners of Oath for the registration exercise and they are being prepared for the exercise.

Read also: Only birth certs, passports accepted for identification for Ghana Card

In a radio interview on Accra based Peace FM Tuesday morning, Prof Attafuah explained they assumed it would not be difficult for personnel in the security agencies to possess the required identification documents required for the process hence they decided to start with them before all others, many of whom may require the services of commissioners of oath for identification processes.

He said contrary to the views and comments by sections of the populace, ample arrangements had been made in the NIA’s statutes to enable all citizens who might not have the required identity documents to be registered and issued with the Ghana Card.

He said the plan was to make it possible for district and regional offices of the NIA to be able to register people who may miss the bulk registration when the team do the regional roll out.

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