The National Identification Authority faces fresh pressure to produce national ID cards hyped as Ghana’s most reliable solution to a crisis of determining nationality.
The NIA’s mandate to produce the cards has come under sharp focus as the Electoral Commission (EC) hints, it expects to compile new voters register for the 2020 elections.
But the proposal is rubbing political commentators the wrong way as it is seen as a wasteful exercise and a duplication.
The Ghana ID card has been presented to Ghanaians as the all-purpose ID that contains biometric information and will be required for accessing a host of social services including health, education, pensions, passport services and business registration.
The Ghana Card is expected to bring an end to the existing era of several bodies have built their peculiar database and issued their own cards.
Since the President launched the cards in September 2017, delays and postponements have stalled the issuance of the cards. Although the process has started at some public institutions, the expected nationwide roll-out has not happened.
Vice-President of policy think tank IMANI, Kofi Bentil expressed exasperation at the stalled progress of issuing the cards.
“You don’t want to hear my story”, he said on Joy News analysis show Newsfile. The Card, he said, is a more credible means of identification for voters than the biometric voter’s ID cards.
“We have today in this country, sufficient technology to have a register that is living and is capable of almost renewing itself”, he said and found support from the NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
“if you are through with national ID then you may even get to a point where you may not even need voters register at all.”
Ghana has spent huge sums of money compiling voters album in 2002 and in 2012 where a biometric register was first compiled.
Kofi Bentil enlisted the support of political parties to put pressure on NIA to churn out the cards to nullify the EC’s effort for a new voter’s register.