National Identification Authority

Only about 900,000 people out of the 15 million whose data were collected in the last national registration exercise have been supplied with their national ID cards.

 National Identification Authority Among the numerous people, who are yet to receive their cards in the last exercise, almost six years ago, are Dr Josiah Cobbah, the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA).

Neither has his family, who then had the registration done at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public, at Greenhill, near Achimota in Accra, had their cards.

Of the 15 million people, whose data were collected, only nine million were inputted into the database, with only 4.5 million being completed, and 2.7 million national identity cards were printed.

These facts came to the fore at a press briefing by the Authority on the current state of the National Identification System and efforts being made by the NIA to establish a national functional ID system for Ghana.

Journalists lashed out at the frustration of Ghanaians with the last registration exercise at the confab, which was addressed by the Acting Executive Secretary, NIA Board Chairman, Mr Larry Adjetey, members of the Board and some officials of the NIA and the Identity Management System (IMS), the service provider contracted to partner the NIA in carrying out the proposed new national registration exercise.

Dr Cobbah said technological changes within the last years had necessitated that data collected in the last national registration exercise is updated and the NIA in 2012 signed a public private partnership (PPP) with the IMS Limited for a pilot project to register eligible foreign nationals living in Ghana.

He explained that the new national ID card project ?is an instant issuance system that eliminates the cost and challenges associate with card distribution.?

The system also takes care of the data needs of all stakeholders, including all 10 finger prints, and would also capture the face and iris, and other biometric traits to enhance the security and integrity of the National Identification System.

?Additionally, the Ghanacard has been designed to assist our compatriots with visual challenges to be able to use it, using a tactile feature on the card,? he said, adding that, the expanded scope, together with the specifications of the system, will enable the NIA to meet the biometric data requirements of all the use agencies.

?Technology changes and we must change with technology if we are to achieve our statutory mandate,? Dr Cobbah said.

Based on the success of the pilot projects, the NIA had taken a decision to expand the PPP to cover about 15 million Ghanaians by November 2015, delivered under a contract with Morpho, an internet service provider.

Dr Cobbah said the PPP Approval Committee (PPAC) had already given approval in principle to the project, which he said, is waiting to go to the Attorney Generals Department, and Parliament for due diligence.

Despite deep probing by the journalists, neither the NIA nor the IMS would disclose how much the entire project would cost the nation.

Officials and board members of the NIA would not readily disclose the operational cost of the projects, saying it was free, but Mr Moses Baiden, Chairman of IMS said the Ghancard is the intellectual property and the company was not prepared to disclose the deal at the forum.

Probed further, Mr Osei Kwame Griffiths, Head of Technology and Biometrics, quoting LI 2191, said the NIA is empowered to collect fees from entities seeking information on the bio-data captured on its data base.

About 50 zonal offices are expected to be created, in addition to mobile registration vehicles during the exercise.


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