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03.08.2005 Regional News

Seminar on citizenship identification card programme at Denu


Denu (V/R), Aug 3, GNA - The National Identification Authority (NIA), has called for a broad support for and participation in the proposed registration of Ghanaian citizens, home and abroad and non-Ghanaians legally resident in the country for the issuance of Identity Cards (IDs) under the National Identification System (NIS). According to NIA, the scheme, which goes with the establishment of a national database centre, comprising personal data on every resident, carries benefits for the individual as well as the country, such as in crime control and socio-economic planning.

Professor Ernest Dumor, Executive Secretary of NIA, made the call, when he explained the scheme at a durbar at Denu on Tuesday, being part of the NIA's sensitization meetings with communities in districts along the country's frontiers, which have been earmarked for the scheme's pilot projects.

In attendance were personnel of the Police Service, Immigration Service, CEPS, Fire Service, traditional rulers, staff of the Ketu District Assembly and other departments.

Professor Dumor noted that NIA required intensive and a carefully planned data collection in communities along Ghana's borders to avoid wrong database for those areas in view of the intensity of the cross-border movement of people of different nationalities. He required from the security agencies at the borders in particular and other stakeholders to assist the authority in its "biometry information gathering work", which he said in the long run, would facilitate the work of agencies, ministries and departments in the country.

"The staggering levels of human trafficking across the frontiers is one problem the ID card system could help to nib in the bud as the security could easily establish the correct identity of any adult crossing with a minor", Professor Dumor noted.

"The information held in the national database record or other strongly linked systems of records established for the NIS under the project, can help to tell who one individual or another is at any point in time", he added.

Professor Dumor explained that people from age 15 and above are legible for the ID scheme, while minors shall have their finger prints taken at age six and then the registration when they turned 15, adding the ID cards to be issued are renewable after every decade, and lost one shall be replaced.

He said any person not registered under the scheme would be facing problems of establishing his or her identity and nationality, as he or she would be showing the ID card as a proof on demand. The Executive Secretary said 21,000 registration centres would be established nationwide for the exercise.

Mr Justice Cudjoe, Ketu District Chief Executive noted that, the project is a laudable one, requiring the support of every Ghanaian to succeed and expressed his gratitude to NIA for including his district in the pilot scheme.