The National Identification Authority (NIA) has rejected claims by ex-President John Dramani Mahama that the authority has not fully rolled out the Ghana card, describing them as unfounded.
Mr. Mahama, the flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), last Thursday stated emphatically, among other things, that the NIA was yet to fully roll out mass registration and that cards were still being issued with no mechanism for verification.
He made the assertions while responding to the verdict of the Supreme Court on the compilation of a new register of voters.
However, the NIA said the former President got his facts wrong by making “inaccurate statements”, according to a statement signed by the NIA Head of Corporate Affairs, ACI Francis Palmdeti.
The statement said the NIA fully rolled out the mass registration exercise on April 29, 2019 to issue biometric ID cards and was left with just a week to complete the exercise before Covid-19 broke out.
“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,” the statement said.
The statement added that as of June 23, 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.
It said the target was to register 80 per cent of the population aged 15 and above and that 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,” the statement explained.
On the issue of cards issuance without mechanism for verification, the NIA insisted that the claim was false and added that the majority of Ghana cards (7,163,935) had been issued through the online verification mechanism.
“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 utilize any or all of these methods.
“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,” according to NIA in the statement.
By Melvin Tarlue