NIA Justifies Manual Verification Of Ghana Card Applicants

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has explained the manual verification of applicants for the Ghana card.

The authority says the manual verification which entails a dummy card with the data of applicants offers officials of the NIA an opportunity to verify information with ease.

In an interview with Citi News, Corporate Communications Director of the NIA, Francis Pamdetti says the manual verification of applicants does not undermine the exercise.

“After one has signed that dummy ID card or thumbprint it as an indication of haven received their card, we send all the albums back and we scan the QR code, when the QR code is scanned, that information is put together in a software and linked with the issuing system which indicates that the cards have been issued.

“When the card is issued the card is then activated when the card is utilized or when the card is verified by a different agency. So the first time the card is used, our system recognizes that the card is being used for the first time. It is something that is done everywhere, it is called post-issuance activation and it will not undermine the national identification system.”

He added that the NIA's Ghana Card registration exercise does not fall within the activities of the Electoral Commission.

“We are not working for the EC or working necessarily towards the EC, we have a mandate because the NIA is an entity on its own. The law that governs NIA indicates that we must create a master identity register and also issue cards to eligible individuals; so that is our mandate. These cards have mandatory uses, the law prescribes some services which the cards must be used to access and without the card, you can't access these services and for us it is extremely important that Ghanaians receive the card to be able to access these services. The EC has its mandate and we also have our mandate; so, we are focusing on executing our mandate.”

Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority has directed supervisors of various collection centres for the Ghana Card without PPE to engage their District Registration Officers on the situation.

Corporate Communications Director of NIA, Francis Palmdetti explains the process for this.

“Every centre has an officer in charge called the SRO, the SROs inform the DRO who is the District Registration Officer about their needs, so if they do not have something or they have run out of some items it is their duty to inform the DRO to make provisions for them.

“The DRO is in charge, he has all the resources to provide for these centres. So if there is a challenge at a centre I expect that the SRO for that centre informs the DRO to get that sorted out.”

The National Identification Authority (NIA) on Wednesday started the distribution of 3,875,441 Ghana cards, an exercise that will be undertaken over a week.

At the end of the exercise, it is expected that 11,062,850 Ghanaians would be issued with the Ghana card.

The distribution will be carried out at 5,635 registration centres across all the 16 regions concurrently and is expected to run till Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

The move, according to a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs of the NIA, Mr Francis Palmdeti, would enable more than 11 million Ghanaians to have Ghana Cards in good time to be used for the voter registration when the Electoral Commission (EC) begins the exercise.

COVID-19 protocols

According to the NIA, adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) would be provided for all their field officials for use during the exercise.

“All registration centres will be equipped with the requisite resources to ensure the effective observance of all prescribed health and safety protocols.”

“In addition, security personnel will be deployed at each registration centre to ensure that crowd control measures, such as physical distancing and appointment system, are strictly observed,” it said.


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