The National Identification Authority has extended the mass registration exercise currently on-going in Ashanti Region from 10th January to 16th January.
1. The Mass Registration Exercise throughout the Ashanti Region has been extended from 10th January to Thursday, 16th January 2020. This extension restores the two registration days (27th and 28th December) lost to the Region because of the Christmas holidays. It also takes account of the challenges encountered in the first two (2) days of the exercise in many communities across the Region where citizens couldn’t register due to the late transportation of some registration equipment to registration centres by contracted third parties, and/or the late arrival of some registration officials at their centres, despite Management’s best efforts at averting same.
2. NIA is concerned about the disturbing phenomenon of unusually large numbers of persons whose applications are “Awaiting Decision” or have gone into “Adjudication” and, therefore, have not had their cards printed and issued to them in the Ashanti Region. This situation frequently arises from discrepancies in the current versus previous biographic data of an applicant, particularly conflicts in the date of birth, the spelling of names, change of names and addition of names without the requisite legal documentation backing same. For instance, where an applicant presents 1st July 1987 in a previous NIA registration and indicates 1st July 1985 in the current registration as his/her date of birth. Conflicts such as change of date of birth, are particularly manifest in data submitted to NIA currently, compared to data submitted to NIA previously. The net effect of this situation is that tens of thousands of applicants are unable to get their cards and vouch for their relatives.
3. The NIA technical system is sensitive and robust enough to detect slight variations in biographic data as well as acute similarities in biometric data between two or more individuals; the system is designed to “arrest” all suspicious registrations in order to ensure that our National Identity Register is credible and dependable.
4. Adjudication and release of the cards of applicants with relatively “minor issues” are currently underway. Indeed, since 31st December 2019, thousands of such cards have been printed and are ready for issuance.
5. The mass registration exercise is scheduled to commence in the Central, Western and Western North Regions immediately after the Ashanti Region exercise ends. In addition, it is the expectation of NIA that registration in the 16th and final region (Eastern Region) starts by late February to mid-March 2020.
6. Meanwhile, the leap-frogging technique, which has been in use since the start of the mass registration exercise in the Greater-Accra Region on 29th April 2019, should help ensure that every nook and cranny of the Ashanti Region is covered, so that no community is left unregistered. This has been the experience in the Volta, Oti, Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper West, Upper East, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
7. Undoubtedly, not every eligible Ghanaian can be registered during the mass registration phase; NIA seeks to register 80% of the population aged 15 and above. The remainder of the current registrable population, as well as Ghanaians aged under 15, will be registered after this mass registration exercise is over.
8. NIA will establish, beginning in mid-March 2020, permanent NIA Offices in each Region, Municipality and District in order to ensure continuous registration. Prospective applicants will, at their leisure, visit NIA offices and get registered at no cost. NIA staff will also visit schools, hospitals, maternity wards, chip-compounds and other birthing centres to register all Ghanaian children. This way, all Ghanaians aged zero to infinity will be registered, and at no cost to them.
9. Starting later this month, NIA will also operate offices jointly with a number of cognate institutions such as NHIA, SSNIT, DVLA, GRA, Births & Deaths Registry and Statistical Service. This co-location arrangement should enable applicants doing business at any of these offices to also register for the Ghana Card with ease, and at no cost.
10. The foregoing processes and arrangements should assure the citizenry, especially those in the Ashanti Region, that while NIA encourages all Ghanaians to register as quickly as possible for the Ghana Card, they will never lose the opportunity to do so if they are unable to register during the mass registration phase. NIA will, with the resources available to it, aside the district offices, create premium centres in each region where appointments could be made by applicants to be registered for a fee. Institutions and Organisations can also apply to NIA to have their staff registered at their respective premises for a fee.
11. While most NIA personnel are law-abiding and follow official instructions, some do not. We can achieve our targets if NIA staff conduct themselves professionally, and citizens conduct themselves responsibly. Allegations of bribery and corruption must be properly reported to the appropriate authorities with some credible evidence that would trigger effective investigation. Disruption of queue management arrangements, physical and verbal attacks on NIA staff, and theft of NIA equipment do not advance the object of achieving set targets. Citizen education, support and cooperation is vital in this regard.