It is not possible to have more then one Ghana Card – Margins CEO

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There are multiple national ID cards in Ghana such as the health insurance card. Image source: graphic.com.gh

The CEO of Margins ID Group, the Ghanaian company manufacturing the Ghana Card, Moses Baiden has said that no one person can have two genuine Ghana Cards in the country. 

He said the National Identification system is built to capture and store each individual’s biometric details once and to issue each person with one valid Ghana Card at a time, so “it is impossible for one person to fake two genuine Ghana Cards verifiable on the National ID system.”

Moses Baiden was speaking to a select group of editors at a stakeholder forum in Accra.

It would be recalled that there is a case in court about a preacher and Executive Secretary of the National Cathedral Secretariat having two Ghana Cards in two different names – Rev. Victor Kusi Boateng and Kwabena Adu Gyamfi.

Pictures of the two Ghana Cards have been put out by his critics and they are both subjects of an ongoing legal process.

Whereas the person in question is known publicly and was appointed to the National Cathedral Secretariat as Rev. Victor Kusi Boateng, he is said to have used another name, Kwabena Adu Gyamfi to have secured a diplomatic passport using a Ghana Card bearing same name.

It is still not clear which of his two Ghana Cards is genuine and which one is fake. But Moses Baiden explained that the national ID system on which the Ghana Card is based, is well provisioned to flag every double registration, so there is no way one person can use same biodata (fingerprints and picture) to secure two Ghana Cards in two different names.

He noted that people can and are actually manufacturing fake Ghana Cards by printing the picture of a different person on a genuine Ghana Card bearing the name of another person. But once any such fake card is put through the verification system at any institution, it will be flagged because the picture and or fingerprints of the holder will not match the ones in the National ID system.

“Are people printing fake Ghana Cards – yes they. But will those Ghana Cards pass the verification test – there is no way they will. This must be made sufficiently clear to Ghanaians – that the system we have built is one of the best in the world if not the best,” the Margins CEO said.

According to him, every single information on each Ghana Card is uniquely linked to only one person, so there is no way another person can beat the system by using a card bearing another persons biodata, “it is simply not possible.”

Moses Baiden noted that people wielding more than one Ghana Card in their name or bearing the same picture in two different names can only use those cards at places and for purposes that ID verification is not required. But for all services and transactions where Ghana Card and its verification are mandatory, such cards will definitely fail the test.

Mandatory use

Speaking of the mandatory uses of the Ghana Card, by law (LI 2111, Regulation 7), every Ghanaian is required to present Ghana Card in order to get a passport, driver’s license, and insurance policy. It is also required for banking transactions, land registration, purchase or transfer, as well as for NHIS, Pension, SSNIT and consumer credit transactions.

Again, Ghana Card is required for payment of taxes, SIM card registration, application for public and government services, transactions requiring gazette publication and voters registration.

Single Source of Truth

Moses Baiden said, from the onset, the Ghana Card was intended to be a single source of truth based on one legal identity, biometrics and biodata, adding “This is the foundation for securely verifying people remotely and physically in real time.”

He believes Margins, in collaboration with the National Identification Authority (NIA) have been able to achieve exactly what they set out to do with the Ghana Card, and he is confident that once every Ghanaian citizen and legal resident is properly captured unto the national ID system, Ghanaians will see the real benefits of the Ghana Card.

In terms of the benefits of the Ghana Card to the country, Moses Baiden said it removes all duplicate systems, ensures verification, and brings sanity to e-government and e-commerce services. It also improves voter registration, ensures social and financial inclusion, improves tax collection and powers the harmonization of all data across all government and private sectors sector institutions.

Additionally, the Ghana Card will also greatly help to coordinate service delivery to citizens and residents after disasters or internal displacement.

As of August 18, 2023, a little over 17.46 million Ghanaians had registered for Ghana Card and about 17.33 million cards had been printed, majority (over 85%) of which have already been given out to the respective holders.

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