Registration exercise for the Ghana Card at the additional points created by the National Identification Authority (NIA) took off yesterday across the country.
The new points are the Accra Sports Stadium, El-Wak Sports Stadium (premium service), Kumasi Sports Stadium, Ghana National Fire Service (Regional Office), Cape Coast, Tamale Sports Stadium.
The Ghanaian Times on a visit to the registration points at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra yesterday observed that the process had started smoothly with a few applicants taking their turns to register.
Applicants were grouped into two, where one group was made up of registrants who had already completed the online application and fulfilled all the requirements, while the other was made up of people who were yet to fill out the online forms.
Applicants who were not aware of the premium service at the El-Wak Sports Stadium were directed to the Accra Sports Stadium and other district offices to undergo mass registration.
The Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah, later in a media briefing at the El-wak Stadium said the creation of the new registration points was part of some of the NIA interventions to decongest registration centres across the country, as the deadline for Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card re-registration approaches.
He added that some other interventions the NIA had set up included “the recruitment of National Service Personnel, clearance from the Ministry of Finance to employ additional staff, engaged people on contract.”
He explained that the creation of centres were backed by an Act of Parliament, however, the registration points were temporal areas to help ease pressure at the various registration offices.
Prof. Attafuah explained that applicants wanting to patronise the premium services should visit “https://register.nia.gov.gh” to fill out the online application.
He said a fee of GH¢30.00 was charged for updating the details on the card.
The NIA executive secretary appealed to the citizenry to desist from massing up at the NIA headquarters for their cards, rather visit their various district offices to collect their cards.
“People who have registered at their various points should visit those points for their card and not move to the regional or places where the cards are not found. It helps to ease the congestion,” he encouraged.
Prof. Attafuah said registration at the various mass registration was free, saying that persons found extorting money from applicants or attempting to bribe officials, if found, would be referred to the Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation and prosecution.
Daniel Dzirasah reports from Sunyani in the Bono Region that the region was not part of the new points that had been created by the NIA according to its regional manager.
Some points in the ongoing exercise in the Sunyani Municipality continue to record large numbers of people.
A visit by the Ghanaian Times to all the three points the exercise was taking place in the municipality yesterday saw scores of people massed up to get either registered or to collect their ID cards.
At the SSNIT House point, as at 10:23 a.m., over 300 people had gathered there with majority of them without their nose masks on.
The Bono Regional Manager of NIA, Ms Rita Opoku Frema, when contacted told the Ghanaian Times that more points would be created soon to take care of the huge numbers as it has been done by the Authority in other regions.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE& IGNATIUS AWUAH TANOE BLAY