484,000 Ghana Cards to be Issued to New Applicants-NIA

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Ghana Card
Ghana Card

The National Identification Authority (NIA) is set to issue 484,000 Ghana Cards to first-time applicants aged 15 years and above free of charge, beginning August 28, 2023.

The issuance of the new cards will be in two phases – the first phase, slated for August 28, to September 8, 2023 will be exclusively for public sector workers on government payroll who have never applied for Ghana Card, and the second phase, which start from September 11, 2023 is for all eligible persons from age 15 and above.

A statement from NIA said the exercise will be conducted at eight (8) out of NIA’s 16 Regional Offices and all 276 District Offices nationwide.

It noted that the eight other regional offices had to be exempted from the process because those offices operate NIA’s Premium Registration Service. The include Kumasi – Ashanti Region; Sunyani – Bono Region; Techiman – Bono East Region; Koforidua – Eastern Region; Tamale – Northern Region; Ho – Volta Region; Takoradi – Western Region and Sefwi Wiawso – Western North Region.

According to the statement, the resumption of the registration exercise has become possible due to NIA’s receipt of 484,000 blank cards from its technical partners, Identity Management Systems II Limited (IMS II) and CalBank PLC following an initiative by the Ministry of Finance.

“By this development, eligible Ghanaians who have not yet registered for the Ghana Card can do so,” it said.

Ghost names

The statement explained that the reason phase one is restricted to public sector workers on government payroll is because the Controller and Accountant-General requested the NIA to provide all such persons with Ghana Card so they could be rolled over into the digital salary payment system before December.

The intent is the clear all ghost names from the government payroll, which the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia recently indicated that it stands at over 148,000.

The Controller and Accountant General would require Ghana Card details before paying salaries to any government worker, because each government worker will be required to verify their ID on a fingerprint reader before they can have access to their salaries.

The Executive Secretary of NIA, Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah told Techfocus24 that “ghosts don’t work and they do not deserve to be paid with our taxes.”

All public sector workers would therefore be required to, in addition to all other documents, all present their previous month’s payslip for the Ghana Card registration. This is because the name of their payslips will be used for their Ghana Card registration to ensure uniformity.

“NIA will only accept and use for the registration the name of the Public Sector Worker as captured on the July 2023 Payslip of an applicant,” the statement said.

Other mandatory documents to be presented for registration are a genuine Birth Certificate, a valid Ghanaian Passport or a Certificate of Acquired Citizenship/ Naturalization, as may be necessary and appropriate.

The statement said that in the absence of any of the mandatory documents, a prospective applicant may be vouched for by a relative or two persons who possess a Ghana Card and know the applicant to be a Ghanaian.

The list of persons qualified to vouch for an applicant include the following:

  •  A practising or retired professional teacher (including principals, headmasters & head teachers)
  • A Gazetted Chief
  • A practicing or retired Magistrate or Judge
  • A practicing or retired licenced Professional e.g. doctor, nurse, lawyer, accountant, engineer, architect etc.
  • A serving or retired civil/public servant.
  • A serving or retired Clergyman.
  • An Imam
  • A serving or retired Catechist.
  • A serving or retired member of the security services including the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Prison Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, BNI, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service of the Ghana Revenue Service and National Security
  • A current or past Member of Parliament, An Assembly or Unit Committee

Lost cards and replacements

The statement noted that Phase One of this new process will not include replacement of lost, stolen or damaged Ghana Cards or the correction or changing of names or dates of birth during, but all other such requests will be attended to during the second phase, beginning September 11, 2023, at any of NIA’s 286 Operational Offices nationwide offering
the free registration.

The NIA said it is therefore encouraging all qualified Ghanaian citizens who are yet to register for the Ghana Card to take advantage of this opportunity “as the Ghana Card serves as the sole mandatory document for the identification of citizens seeking to engage in various commercial transactions or to access a wide range of public and private services in Ghana.”

Replacement/Correction Fees

According to the statement, while first-time registration for the Ghana Card will be free at all NIA’s offices, there is a statutory fee of GHS34.50 for the replacement of a Ghana Card or for making changes in a person’s record.

The NIA assured Ghanaians that it has since November 2021 staffed all of its 16 regional and 276 district offices with competent personnel and provided them with the requisite
equipment to ensure the smooth registration of eligible applicants across the country.

Special Mobile Registration

It also noted that with the availability of blank cards nationwide, NIA is now in a position to resume its Household and Institutional Registration Services, which allow households with five or more Ghanaians and organisations with 50 or more Ghanaians to request for registration services at a specified home or location at a fee.

“The Household Registration costs GHS150.00 per applicant while the Institutional Registration costs 100.00 per applicant along with logistics fees,” it said.

The statement said for further information and updates on the special mobile registration services, citizens are advised to visit the official website of the National Identification Authority at www.nia.gov.gh or contact NIA’s Contact Centre hotline at (0302 99 9306 – 9, 0302 73 8333, 0242 43 8615).

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