At the NIA office: Mad rush for GhanaCard …as SIM card re-registration deadline approaches

Hundreds of Ghanaians yesterday turned out at the National Identification Authority (NIA) Office in Accra for the ongoing registration of the Ghana Card.

This followed the decision by the Communications Ministry for mobile phone subscribers to re-register their SIM cards, with the Ghana Card as the only recognised identification card for the exercise.

A visit by the GhanaianTimes at the NIA office yesterday saw a huge number of applicants struggling to register for the cards.

As early as 5:30 am, many people had queued up at the NIA office in their effort to register and receive their cards.

Some applicants, who spoke to the Ghanaian Times,complained about the stress they had encountered during the registration and called on government to extend the registration period.

Mr Alex Frimpong, an office worker, said “the stressful nature of the registration is not encouraging. Besides after going through the hustle to get the card there’s another hustle at the telecos for biometric, I am an office worker, travelling all along from home to Shiashie here is another hectic. When do I get to the office, NIA should open other branches for easy access.”

Mrs Sarah Awotwe, a trader, complained that “they told me my card hasn’t been brought to my district yet and they took my number to call me should they have my card at the district. This was like one year now. I went there three months ago and it is same story and they even told me not to becoming there till I’m called.”

Mr Ambrose Addai, a technician, said “We can’t be doing this back and forth registration with the government.  Most people registered and haven’t received their cards yet. The funny thing is that they keep tossing us to places for our card. I came here this morning only to realise that their machine is also being interrupted. What kind of system is this?”

A spare parts dealer at AbosseyOkai, Mr ClementDanso, said, “I registered but when I went for the card they told me my name is still not on the system. Again they said a code will be given to such people by the NIA before we will get the card but up to date nothing has happened. I can’t lose my SIM card and contacts soI have to come and follow up.”

Beatrice Johnson, a student stated that “I did my registration last two years but still didn’t get my card. I was told my card is mixed up with other cards. My dad, whom I registered before he did his, got his own card three days after. We plead with the government to extend the deadline for the SIM registration to enable us also pass through the process.”

Whiles others complained of not receiving their cards, others who had lost theirs alleged that, they were asked to pay some fee for the replacement of the lost cards.

Meanwhile, the Media Relations Officer of NIA, Ms Dora Badu OwusuAdoma has asked Ghanaians to file complaints against any registration officer who collects money from them before they are registered.

“File a complaint against any of our officers who demand money from you and the appropriate sanctions will be taken against them,” she said.

However, the NIA had assured Ghanaians of smooth process and called on the public to register for the card.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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