The $293 million Ghana Card project has taken off in the Greater Accra Region. As it is with such projects – one intended to capture critical vital details of all citizens – there are bound to be challenges as being noticed in the implementation phase.
We have observed the efforts being put in by officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) to ensure the success of the landmark venture and negative remarks by some of our compatriots.
We would urge all Ghanaians to support the novelty so that at the end of the day, a reliable database of all citizens would have been put in place. Let us spare this project the negative partisanship which is often administered into otherwise important national assignments to hang them in their infantile stages.
For a country in its sixth decade of independence, some attitudes of ours should be shed for the bigger national interest.
An earlier effort at a Ghana Card failed in spite of much effort that eventually went to waste. The Akufo-Addo government given the importance of such a project went back to the drawing board and embarked once more on a project which would have positive impact on our development plans.
We have noticed the complaints being raised by some Ghanaians regarding some hiccups being encountered. According to the Director of Communications of the project, Francis Palmdeti, “it is early days yet.” Of course, with the passing days, the curves in the execution of the project would be straightened up.
There is no way that such a mammoth project would in its early days not be enveloped in surmountable challenges.
Communication interventions have been unfurled to have people understand what is at stake and how to access the service being rendered. Much is still required in this direction considering the somewhat complex laid-down conditions in acquiring the Ghana Card. It is for this reason that we demand that the NIA ramp up their communications machinery by engaging unconventional means of reaching out to the people. Chiefs, opinion leaders, churches and mosques and even schools should be brought on board. They are doing well with the traditional media but engaging the unconventional channels could be game changers.
The amount of money involved in executing the project under review is huge. We cannot afford not to get it right.
Those criticizing the seeming slow pace of the exercise must appreciate the fact that with such assignments bordering on citizenship and therefore national security, utmost care must be taken to ensure that only qualified persons are captured in the citizens’ database.
We appreciate the stringent conditions for acquiring the Ghana Card and their importance. This notwithstanding, the digital address condition appears to be proving difficult for many of our compatriots. The authorities should take another look at this segment with a view to introducing an intervention so it does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for especially our folks who have no knowledge of accessing such conditional detail.