There was a false start to the much awaited Ghana Card registration and issuance process in Accra, Monday with the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority, (NIA) Prof Ken Attafuah apologizing for a “technical glitch.”
Hundreds queued in the topmost public institutions in the country, including the seat of government the Flagstaff House hoping to register and receive the much publicized Ghana card with its impressive security features.
But no official of the NIA turned up for the process. Joy News’ presidential correspondent Elton John Brobbey said they waited in vain from morning till around 5:00pm when everyone left the presidency in disappointment.
There was no word of explanation from the NIA, he reported.
The situation was no different at the Parliament House, Police Headquarters, and the Judicial Service.
Legislators, police chiefs, judges and other workers in the top echelon of Ghana’s public administration were eager to register and receive their cards as promised.
But Joy News’ J Johnson Quaye reported there was no sign of the NIA officials at post despite a promise to begin the registration process today at the stated venues.
In an interview with Joy News’ Evans Mensah and Emefa Apawu, the Executive Secretary of the NIA Prof Ken Attafuah attributed Monday’s no show syndrome to “significant connectivity issues.”
“I apologise to Ghanaians and especially to the institutions that we have indicated we will commence the registration,” he said.
According to him, up until the morning of the registration, officials of the NIA and their partners with international reputation in ID management solutions had scouted the entire Greater Accra and were sure where to place printers and have people registered and the card issued immediately.
However, on the morning to kick start what government has described as a significant policy objective, Prof Ken Attafuah said there was an “unfortunate situation we had to grapple with,” a “technical glitch.”
According to him, they were hoping to quickly fix the connectivity challenges in time so they quickly deploy personnel and logistics to the various stations to begin the registration process but that was not to be.
When he was asked if the process has been suspended indefinitely, Prof Attafuah said as soon the connectivity problem is resolved the registration will start.
He did not want to give yet another promise of a start date only to come and apologise. This is not the first time the NIA is postponing the entire process.
Prof Attafuah stated however that the Accra registration is within a period from now to first week in June, hoping the hitches will be resolved in time before period ends.
$1.2 billion Cost
There have been concerns raised about the total of the registration process which has been put at $1.2 billion.
The former Executive Secretary of the NIA Dr William Ahadzie had stated the cost involved was on a high side.
He did not understand how such a project would cost that much and demanded explanation from his successor.
Prof Attafuah said the Ghana Card is different in scope to what Dr William Ahadzie had planned to issue but failed to do.
He added it will be the first time any country in Africa will be issuing a card of that nature. The closest to issuing a card like that he said was Nigeria.
According to him, what Dr. Ahadzie contemplated doing during his tenure was to register Ghanaians only from age six but the Ghana Card registration process is from zero.
He said the NIA will register all Ghanaians at birth and provide a comprehensive data of same.
The country since 2006 begun the process of registering Ghanaians to issue them with the card but very few people have received the cards.
Prof Attafuah said the Ghana Card, unlike the previous one will be issued instantly at the point of registration.
He added the Ghana Card will contain all data to be used by the DVLA, the NHIS, and can even be used as a travelling document.