All is set for the start of the national identity card (Ghana Card) registration in the Greater Accra Region Monday May 28. 2018.
According to the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Prof. Ken Agyemang Attafuah, the registration in the Greater Accra Region would last for approximately three months, but he was quick to add that a lot would depend on the speed of the registration exercise.
The NIA intends to register all Ghanaian citizens in Ghana within one year.
Prof. Attafuah had told the Daily Graphic last week that approximately six months after the commencement of the national exercise in Ghana, the NIA would commence the registration of Ghanaians in the Diaspora.
The Ghana Card will replace the sectoral identity cards in circulation and become the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required, as provided by law.
Among other things, it will enable other stakeholders to run their applications on the national identity card.
Prof. Attafuah said the registration centres would be similar to what the Electoral Commission used during the registration of voters.
Beginning from 7 a.m. today, when the exercise starts in the Greater Accra Region, the NIA will pitch camp at key state agencies and institutions, including the Jubilee House, Parliament House, the Judicial Service and the various security agencies, to register officials there.
Key individuals, such as former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Mahama, and the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) will be registered and issued with their cards first before registration opens for the public.
Prof. Attafuah added that officers within the banking and the educational sectors would also be issued with the cards ahead of the mass regional registration exercise.
From the Greater Accra Region, the registration team will move to the Volta Region, followed by the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Western, Ashanti, Eastern and Central regions.
Prof. Attafuah said apart from Greater Accra, where the team would spend three months, the NIA would spend two months in the Ashanti Region and one month in each of the other regions.
IDs required for registration
A statement issued by the NIA recalled that in 2017, Parliament passed the National Identity Register (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Act 950), which was gazetted on December 6, 2017 after receiving Presidential assent on December 4, 2017.
It said one of the amended provisions concerned the identity documents required for registration and issuance of the Ghana Card.
It said by virtue of that amendment, the only identity documents that would be required for the purpose of registering for and obtaining the Ghana Card were a birth certificate, a valid passport, a valid residence permit, a valid certificate of acquired citizenship and any other information as might be required by the NIA.
“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. 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,” it said.
The statement 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.
Training of commissioners of oaths
It indicated that the NIA had not recruited and trained 2,700 commissioners of oaths, saying: “It is the sole statutory prerogative of the Judicial Service of Ghana to train and commission commissioners for oaths.”
It said Section 2(2)(b) of the National Identification Authority Act, 2006 (Act 707) enjoins the NIA to ensure the accuracy, integrity, confidentiality and security of the data it collected.
Under Section 2(2)(d) of Act 707, the NIA shall make the data in its custody available to persons or institutions authorised by law to access the data.
The statement said in the light of the above-stated statutory imperatives, coupled with the requirement that the vouching process be done before a commissioner for oaths in good standing, the NIA engaged the leadership of the Judicial Service of Ghana, led by the Chief Justice, Ms Sophia A.B. Akuffo, on that critical human resource required for the effective implementation of the NIS project.
It said it was agreed that the Judicial Service would recruit, train and commission as many commissioners for oaths as would be needed to assist the vouching process and, thereafter, to support the administration of justice in the country.
“As indicated in the advertisement to that effect in the national dailies, it is the Judicial Service that will ‘recruit, train and license suitably qualified Ghanaians as commissioners for oaths for the purpose of administering oaths and assisting in the registration of Ghanaian citizens during the registration exercise’,” it said.