Ghana: $1.2bn National ID Fails To Take Off

The announced registration of Ghanaians for the issuance of the National Identification Card – known as the Ghana Card – by the National Identification Authority (NIA), has once again been put on hold.

The Executive Director of the NIA, Prof Kenneth Attafuah, who confirmed the suspension of the exercise on Citi FMyesterday evening, said logistical and technical challenges had compelled the Authority to once again postpone the registration exercise to a later date.

He, however, did not give indication of when the exercise would begin, which was expected to start at the Jubilee House, Parliament House and the Judicial Service, among other state institutions.

Prof Attafuah had stated that all the necessary documentations and legal framework for the registration and issuance of the Ghana Card had all been completed.

The registration exercise, which is expected to cost the nation $1.2 billion, has suffered a number of setbacks, with logistical challenges being the main cause.

Tongues are already wagging over the cost of the exercise.

After covering the Jubilee House, Parliament and Judicial Service, the registration exercise would have subsequently been extended to the three former Presidents —Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama — the Chief Imam, the Ga Mantse, as well as former Chief Justices and Speakers of Parliament.

The security agencies, comprising the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) as well as professional bodies like the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) would also have taken their turn for the registration, which was expected to cover the whole of the Greater Accra Region within a period of three months.

The government is contributing $531 million of the cost, while Identity Management System (IMS), which is partnering the NIA under a public/private partnership (PPP) agreement, is providing $678 million for the exercise.

Meanwhile, Prof Attafuah has been penciled to brief Parliament in the course of the week on preparations so far made as far as the impending registration is concerned.

SOURCE: DAILY GUIDE

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