Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, Deputy Minister of Communication has refuted claims from the Minority NDC that the NPP has failed to implement the National Identification programme as promised in their 2016 manifesto.
According to him, the National Identification programme has already started and that the procedures to ensure that all citizens including newly born babies and adults are registered is on course.
He said government has already issued contracts and procured all the needed materials and was waiting for Parliament to amend the National Identification Authority Act, which is before the House to rollout the programme.
Mr Sowah Odotei challenged the assertions during an interview with the media in Parliament.
Mr Samuel Nartey George, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram had made claims that the NPP has failed to implement its 2016 manifesto promise of carrying out the National Identification programme in its first year of administration.
Mr Sowah Odotei also explained that the amendment of the National Identification Authority Act has come about as a result of the Supreme Court Ruling that the NHIS cards cannot be used to identify people’s nationality.
He clarified that in the original Act the age for registration was 16 years but with the new amendment all citizens would be issued with the National Identification card including newly born babies.
He said he does not understand why the NDC is saying the NPP has failed to implement its promise when the year has not ended.
Mr Samuel George on his part maintained that the NPP, contrary to its 2016 manifesto promise, has failed to undertake the National Identification exercise in the first year of its administration.
He said despite Parliament’s approved budget of GHȼ125 million in addition to an existing $25 million World Bank facility to the
National Identification Authority (NIA) there is nothing to show for all the allocations given to the organisation.
He challenged the government to explain to Ghanaians why the 2018 budget was silent on the National Identification programme.
Mr Samuel George also refuted claims by the NPP that the registration programme would commence before the end of the year as false.
He said so far only President Nana Akufo-Addo has been issued with the Ghana card, and that, even, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye, who are second and third gentlemen of the land, have not been issued with any card.
“Why is it that the 2018 budget is silent on the National Identification programme, is it an admission of failure by the NPP to implement their manifesto promise,” he questioned.