The National Identification Authority (NIA) has described as inaccurate claims made by former President John Dramani Mahama on the issuance of the Ghana Card.
According to Mr Mahama, the NIA has not rolled out in full the registration and issuance of the Ghana Card, adding these cards are being issued with no mechanism for verification.
However, the NIA in a statement signed by its Head of Corporate Affairs, Francis Palmdeti, said the allegations are far from the truth.
The NIA explained that it fully rolled out the mass registration exercise on April 29, 2019 to register the citizenry and issue them with biometric ID cards, adding that it was left with just a week to completion before the exercise was disrupted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“NIA would have completed the registration exercise in the Eastern Region by 27th March 2020, after having conducted the exercise in 15 other regions. The mop-up exercise currently underway is to further provide opportunity for those who could not register to do so,” it explained.
“Indeed, as of 23rd June 2020, NIA had registered a total of 11,385,494 eligible Ghanaians, printed 11,172,261 cards, and issued 10,854,829 cards to qualified Ghanaians. The target was to register 80% of the population aged 15 and above. A total number of Ghanaians aged 18 and above have been issued 10,576,120 Ghana Cards. By the end of the mop-up registration exercise, it is expected that 16.7 million eligible Ghanaians would have been captured on the National Identity Register and issued the Ghana Card,” it added.
Additionally, it indicated that 7,163,935 of Ghana Cards have been issued through the online verification mechanism, adding that there is an inbuilt mechanism for the verification of the 3,690,894 cards currently being issued, using the Card Issuance Album.
“The use of manual verification is not a novel practice. There are various methods of verification. One can use the ocular inspection method, the match-on-card method or the one-to-many method which is online. The National Identity System is designed to utilise any or all of these methods,” the statement said.
Furthermore, it explained, “applicants who visit the Card Issuance Centres are identified and issued their Ghana Cards by NIA officials using the ocular verification method, i.e crosschecking of their photographs, name, date of birth, telephone number and other details as captured in the album against the registration slips they submit or their verbal claim.”
“It must be added that the adoption of the card issuance album in the card distribution process was informed to enable speedy distribution of 3.9 million cards to applicants as well as to prevent the situation of having 3.9 million applicants across the country going to the registration centres when NIA’s mop-up exercise starts. The manual verification will reduce the risk of applicants undermining the protocols on physical distancing (COVID-19),” it continued.
On claims of duplication, the NIA said out of the 11,172,261 printed, as at last Tuesday, June 23, there has only been 525 instances where more than one card had been printed for an individual bearing different personal identification numbers.
The statement said the error was attributed to a system update, which has since been resolved.
“…in effect, no one can use two cards at the same time neither can anyone use the card of another person. The system automatically assigns invalid multiple card details to a watch list,” the statement pointed out.
Source: Daily Statesman