Human rights activist, Josephine Oppong-Yeboah, said duty bearers need not to rush to make the Ghana Card the sole acceptable identification card for transacting business in Ghana.
For her, other previously acceptable national identification cards could be used side-by-side with the Ghana card.
She was of the view that, out rightly ignoring all other identification cards and using only the Ghana Card would deny many Ghanaian citizens certain basic social services, including their rights as citizens.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, Ms Oppong-Yeboah said authorities needed to exercise patience in order to capture all Ghanaians in the system before making the card the only acceptable identification card in Ghana.
“Even though majority of Ghanaians have acquired the Ghana Card, many are yet to get theirs due to the delays in the issuance of the cards that has made things difficult for those without the Ghana Cards to transact any business, including registering their SIM cards”.
“You suffer to get voters identification card and now we are told that without the Ghana Card, you cannot even open a bank account. If all other national identification cards are no longer useful, why do continue to waste resources on them?” he stated
She said it was about time duty bearers critically examined programmes before they rolled them out in order not to bring any untold hardships on the very people whose interest they serve.
“Many people have not been able to even register their SIM cards all because they don’t have Ghana Cards and it’s not easy for people to get the Ghana Cards,” she observed, adding “Why can’t we make the system easier for people to get the Ghana card?,” he said.
Ms Oppong-Yeboah called on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to investigate into some allegations levelled against some staff of the authority with regard to the registration process.
“Some people have complained of having to pay monies to the registration officials in order to get their cards done for them. We need to investigate all these allegations because if they are only attending to those who claimed to have paid monies, what happens to those who don’t pay,” she quizzed.
She added, “We should not allow only a few selfish individuals to frustrate national efforts. Every Ghanaian citizens must be treated equally and fairly. If some NIA officials are deliberately frustrating the process so that those who are affected by the system will pay the bribes, let us fish them out and punish them.”
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY