National Identification Authority Building
National Identification Authority Building

The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it was working around the clock to undertake the mass registration of Ghanaians and issue them with instant identity cards by June 2016.

National Identification Authority Building
National Identification Authority Building

Head, Administration/Legal & Compliance of the NIA, Josef Iroko told in an interview over the weekend the mass registration of citizens was supposed to have commenced last October but logistical and financial constraints delayed the exercise.
He observed the state agency was currently undertaking stakeholder consultation to seek their input before the exercise commences.
The NIA undertook the registration of Ghanaians in 2010 at a cost of 21 million Ghana cedis and had so far issued few of the identity cards to the people.
Many have therefore questioned why the state agency was gearing up for a new registration as the country could be incurring additional cost.
But Iroko says the NIA had so far printed 2.7 million cards out of the 15 million Ghanaians registered at the time and that those cards had not gone waste.
He explained that the earlier registration failed to capture the email addresses and telephone numbers of those registered and that has contributed to the failure of his outfit to locate and issue the cards to their owners.
Under the expanded scope, the NIA will as part of the registration be able to capture contact details of those to be registered so as to make it easy for the authority to get back to people.
The cost of the entire exercise, the Head, Administration/Legal & Compliance observed was still being worked at and details will be released as soon as all the approval and regulatory processes were completed.
Meanwhile, the registration of all foreign nationals permanently resident in Ghana was ongoing and the authority says it would soon roll-up a program to get all expatriates who fell within the law to be registered were duly registered.
The NIA was set up in 2003 under the Office of the President with the mandate to issue national identity cards and manage the country?s national identification system.
This resulted in the passing of the National Identification Authority Act, 2006 (Act 707) to give it the necessary legal premises on which to operate.
The National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) was also passed to give authorization for collection of personal and biometric data and to ensure the protection of privacy and personal information of enrollees.
To fulfil its mandate, the authority has established a national identification system, which is a multi-purpose national electronic biometric database of all Ghanaian citizens living in and out of the country and all foreign nationals permanently resident in Ghana.
Botswana, Brunei, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, United Arab Emirate (UAE) and Uganda are countries with laws also requiring national identification.

Source: Roger A. Agana and Francis Tandoh


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