Ghana: Country needs GH¢8.7m to complete mass identification exercise

Posted: January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
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The National Identification Authority (NIA) has said it needed GH¢8.7million to complete the mass registration exercise of the country’s nationals and other legal migrants that fall within the age eligibility criteria of six and above.Head of Public Affairs of the NIA, Ms. Bertha Dzeble disclosed this in Accra yesterday when she appeared on TV3’s mid-day news to highlight on her outfits progress since the national mass registration exercise began in July 2008 to collate personal information on all Ghanaians living in the country or abroad and all resident non-Ghanaians.

Six regions have so far been covered (Central, Western, Eastern, Volta, Greater Accra and the Ashanti Regions) with the remaining four (Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West), yet to be covered.

Mass registration exercise in the Brong Ahafo region, according to Ms. Dzeble would begin in January 2011 and end in April 2011 at a cost of over GH¢2million but that of the three Northern regions (Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions) were not immediately known.

“Preparations for the Brong Ahafo Region mass registration exercise are on-going and we are sure to begin the exercise in within January this year.”

The NIA have received a barrage of criticisms from the general public for the delay in releasing cards for the regions they’ve covered.

But Ms. Dzeble in response to the criticisms said the NIA was faced with lack of funds to procure equipment for the processing and release of the cards.

According to her, the aforementioned problem is over and preparations are far advanced for the release of cards for registered nationals and all resident non-Ghanaians in the Greater Accra Region by the close of January, 2011. She was optimistic that the January deadline would be met.

Mass registration exercise for the Greater Accra began on November 18, 2009 and ended on February 11, 2010 with the impressive enrollment of 3,205,611 representing 87.5% of the targeted eligible population of 3,496,983.

The Central and Western Regions between 2008 and 2010 registered 1, 232,671 and 1,586,581 representing a percentage turnout of 78.92% and 77.91% respectively.

The Eastern from the same period also registered 1,582,886 out of an estimated population of 2,055,038 representing a percentage turnout of 77.02% whilst the Volta region also registered 1,344,104 out of an estimated population of 1,606,889, representing 77.02%.

The NIA was set up by an Act of Parliament, the National Identification Authority Act, 2006 (Act 707), to establish a national data center and manage a national database, ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of such data, and to issue and promote the use of national cards in Ghana.

National Identification cards have been in the system since 1973. In that said year, national identity cards were issued to citizens in the border regions of the country including Volta, Northern, Upper East and West, Brong Ahafo and some parts of the Western Region.

The project was however, discontinued in 1976 due to lack of logistics and finance.

The issue was revisited in 1987 but due to economic constraints it was boycotted until 2001 when it re-surfaced for public dialogue leading to the establishment of the National Identification Secretariat by the government in 2003 to implement and manage the National Identification System (NIS) to provide reliable personal information about a person.

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