Fears of persons who could not register during the National Identification mass registration exercise in the Accra West zone of the Greater Accra Region have been allayed as the National Identification Authority (NIA) intends to set up district and regional offices after the exercise.
The offices, according to the head of Corporate Affairs at the NIA, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Francis Palmdeti, would register persons who were unable to register during the mass registration exercise.
The exercise in the Accra West zone which began on April 29 and ended on Saturday May 25 was characterised by large crowds at most centres making it impossible for a number of residents in that zone to register for their Ghana Cards.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in Accra last week, ACI Francis Palmdeti said the authority was unable to grant the request to extend the duration of the registration exercise explaining that “doing so will adversely affect the published national roll-out strategy.”
He, therefore, urged members of the public to exercise patience and not be worried if they were not able to register during the registration.
ACI Palmdeti also indicated that card collection centres would be set up in the 13 municipalities of the Accra West zone for persons who were unable to receive their Ghana Cards during the exercise.
“They will be informed via text messages, phone calls, radio and television announcements about designated Ghana Card collection points,” he added.
ACI Palmdeti said the NIA had so far registered 1,029,927 people, made up of 536,300 females and 493,627 males as at May, 19.
On the issue of NIA officers taking bribe, he said it was unacceptable, and cautioned the general public not to be lured into offering any incentive to quicken their registration.
ACI Palmdeti asked the NIA officers not to judge an applicant by their names, skin colour or they way they speak, because “they might have gone through the legitimate process of naturalisation or registration to become a citizen.”
ACI Palmdeti stated that the delays in registration and acquiring of the Ghana Card was due to network failure, change in applicant’s personal information, and swearing of oath by guarantors of applicants.
He explained that the network challenges involved enrolment and printer application, which he said works hand in hand.
“If an applicant has a problem at the enrolment session which has to do with data collection, it will automatically affect the printing of the cards and vice versa,” ACI Palmdeti said.
He explained that when the network signals at a particular area was weak, the process was also affected, which could also cause much agitations at the centres.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY AND JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU