Finally, the government has settled on August this year, to roll out the national identification cards for all Ghanaians.

For many years, successive governments have tried to implement a universal national identification card for all citizens, but have failed.

Several reasons, including a half hearted approach to the plan to provide all citizens with a national ID cards, saw only a fraction of the population being issued with the card.

Thankfully, the government appears to be serious about the issuance of national identification cards to all Ghanaians living in the country.

According to Vice President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the exercise would be preceded by the comprehensive digital address system which would be rolled out in July.

He explained that the plan was part of the government’s policy to formalise the economy.

Significantly, the proposed national identification card is part of a larger programme to harmonise the various data bases of organisations such as the National Health Insurance Authority Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority in order to eradicate duplication of national identification cards in the country.

A single national identification card for transaction of business in the country is long overdue and we commend the government for the bold initiative to revive the stalled process.

Indeed, a single national identification card has immense benefits for the citizenry and must be pursued vigorously.

Apart from being used as a means of confirming ones identity, national identification cards can also serve as a security to distinguish “bad guys” from law abiding citizens.

As we wait for the roll out the cards in August, we urge the National Identification Authority (NIA), to reflect and dig deep into the past in order to correct all the mistakes and ensure the success of the new initiative.

We cannot afford to fail as Ghanaians would not forgive the government, NIA and all stakeholders.

We recognise that we might face some hurdles as we attempt to roll out the gigantic project of providing national identification cards to the over 27million citizens, but it is a project that must succeed.

The consequences of another failure might be too costly to the development of the country and that is why it must succeed.


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