-10,000 Staff, 2,500 machines to be deployed

REGISTRATION and instant issuance of the National Identity ((ID) cards, known as Ghana Card, to all Ghanaians will begin from Monday, May 28, 2018.

The registration is expected to begin at 7am, starting from the Jubilee House, Parliament House, Judicial Service, as well as security sector institutions; namely, Ghana Police Service, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, and Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

Key influencers
Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), told The Finder that key influencers in society, such as former presidents and their spouses and the former Chief Justice and her spouse, would be given special treatment.

He said the authority is liaising with them and their offices to agree on a convenient time to register them at their homes or offices.

At this phase, he said, the NIA would only register persons who have birth certificates or a valid passport.

Banking and education sectors
Prof Attafuah noted that when the authority is done with these special groups, registration would move to the banking and educational sectors and register from kindergarten to tertiary level, after which it would be extended to the general population in the Greater Accra Region.

He disclosed that the NIA estimates to spend between three and four months to register people in the key institutions, as well as the general public within Greater Accra.

From here, he said, the exercise would be extended to everyone living in the Greater Accra Region.

Regional rollout process
From Greater Accra, he said, the exercise would move to the Volta, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Western, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central regions in that order.

The exercise is expected to last for two months in the Ashanti Region while one month will be spent on each of the remaining eight regions.

All Ghanaians to be registered within one year
Prof Attafuah said the NIA estimates to complete registration of Ghanaians within one year after extending the exercise to the general public.

Registration of Ghanaians abroad
The Executive Secretary of the NIA announced that approximately six months after rolling out the exercise to the general public, NIA would begin the registration of Ghanaians abroad.

He explained that the NIA intends to roll out the exercise in close collaboration with Ghanaian missions abroad and Ghanaian associations in foreign countries working through the Diasporan Affairs Office, which is part of the Office of the President.

Prof Attafuah stated that this was being done in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

To save cost, he said, the NIA plans to train personnel of Ghana Missions abroad and designate as registration officials of the NIA and supplement that with personnel of NIA headquarters to the extent necessary.

Registration process
Persons with the right documents who provide right answers to questions will be issued the instant Ghana Card in approximately 30 minutes.

Documents required for registration
Anyone who wants to register has a duty to provide basic information, and digital address code is one of them.

The primary documents required are a birth certificate or a valid passport. However, existing Ghana Card holders can also use it in place of birth certificate or a valid passport.

Vouching for people
This vouching process must be made on oath before a Commissioner of Oath.
The Judicial Service has recruited and is training them to be certified as Commissioners of Oath.

When a citizen has neither of these documents, the person can be vouched for by one relative who has been registered and issued with the card or by two people who are not relatives but who know the person and have been registered and issued ID cards.

Aside the compulsory documents, which can be either a birth certificate or passport, registrants who have all or some of the following documents, drivers licence, Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) card, National Health Insurance (NHIS) card, and Tax Identification Number (TIN) number, are required to carry them along.

Prof Attafuah stated that the NIA would make an electronic copy and return them to the owner, saying it would use the electronic versions as part of the person’s identity records purposes of data integration and harmonisation.

Creation of registration centres
He explained that by law, the NIA is required to use the polling stations previously used by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the general elections to the extent possible and as far as practicable.

However, he noted that because of instant issuance, it is not every polling station previously used by the EC that the NIA will use.

He said the NIA has mapped Greater Accra and scouted areas and positioned the registration centres at places with internet connectivity, to make instant Ghana Card issuance possible.

For every mobile registration work station, he said, there would be interviewer, an assistant to the interviewer, mobile registration work station operator, and card verification officer.

1,700 Registration centres
On May 3, 2018, the NIA published in the gazette a list of 1,700 registration centres in the Greater Accra Region where registration will take place.

Mobile registration vans
In addition, mobile registration vans will be deployed to augment the process.
Prof Attafuah said before moving to any region, the list of registration centres would be published in the gazette for every region, as well as in the media.

2,500 Mobile registration work stations to be deployed
The NIA has recruited 2,500 mobile registration work stations operators, but has trained 2,700 so that the additional 200 will serve as backup.

There will also be an equal number of officers for the interviewing, assistant and card verification.

10,000 Field staff
This means that NIA will deploy not less than 10,000 staff to the field at any given time.

2,500 Standby generators available
The machines are fully charged overnight to ensure reliability of battering power during the day.

However, for backup, each mobile registration work station will be deployed with a standby diesel-powered generator to be used in case of down time with power.

Requisite level of funding available
Prof Attafuah said the NIA has the requisite level of funding to roll out and get the job done, and urged government to continue to provide funding as and when the need arises.

Credit : Elvis Darko.

About Philemon Buabeng

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