Minority to boycott registration of MPs for national ID cards

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has served notice that it will not participate in the national identification registration unless it gets clarifications on money earmarked for the exercise from the National Identification Authority (NIA).

The exercise was advertised to start in Parliament on Monday, but the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) in a statement signed by their leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, raised concerns about the exercise and indicated their unwillingness to take part in it.

The scheduled registration exercise in Parliament did not also take place on Monday as announced.

Varied costs

The statement said the Minority Caucus in Parliament had taken note of an announcement that the NIA would be carrying out a registration exercise in Parliament on Monday, June 11, 2018.

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It said the Minority MPs found the development very surprising for a number of reasons.

First, the statement said it was the understanding of the Minority Caucus that the NIA would engage MPs in a meeting to clarify a number of issues relating to the roll out of the exercise.

"This meeting was duly advertised in the Business Statement at least twice, only to be postponed again this time indefinitely when the Business Statement was read by the Majority Chief Whip, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, last Friday, June 8, 2018. We still have no indication when this crucial meeting will be held", it said.

Besides, the statement said significant questions remained about the cost, scope and  legality of the project as well as registration requirements.

"With regards to the cost of the project, the leadership of the NIA, has been less than candid with the people of Ghana.

"Whereas documents available to us show that the total project cost is $1.4 billion  which can be broken down into $1,221,476,123 actual cost and tax exemption of $176 million, the Chief Executive Officer of the NIA, Prof. Ken Attafuah, is on record as saying it will cost $ 293 million," it said.

Parliamentary approval

The statement said despite the provision of government support by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government in respect of revenue projections for the project, it had not been sent to Parliament for approval in accordance with the laws of Ghana.