Ghana Card registration congestion: NIA opens more centres …to reduce inconvenience

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has created additional National Identification Card (Ghana card) registration centres following Ghanaian Times reports on the long queues and inconveniences that rocked the exercise.

The new centres which opens today include the Accra Sport Stadium, El-Wak Sports Stadium, Kumasi Sports Stadium, Ghana National Fire Service regional office in Cape Coast and Tamale Sports Stadium.

Apart from the El-Wak Sports Stadium which would serve as a premium centre in Accra, applicants would be registered at other centres for free from today to Tuesday, March 31, 2022.

 A statement issued by NIA Head of Communication, Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, on Friday said the new centres would operate alongside NIA’s 276 districts and 16 regional offices, as well as the premium registration centre at its Headquarters.

The statement further said persons who had already registered but had not received their cards should contact their respective district offices to collect them.

“An attempt for double registration is an offence and punishable by law”, it said.

The statement said all applicants were to provide the required documents, either a birth certificate, an original copy of a valid passport or an original valid certificate of acquired citizenship, as well as Ghana Post Digital Address for the registration.

“People without the required documents should come along with a relative who has been registered and issued the Ghana card”, the statement said.

The Ghanaian Times has for weeks reported on the plight of applicants of the Ghana Card, highlighting how the exercise has been defined by long queues and congestion at centres.

The mad rush for the Ghana card has been fuelled by the desire by applicants to beat the March 31, 2022, deadline set for the ongoing Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) re-registration exercise which required the use of the Ghana Card.

It is recalled that the NIA in May 2017, started the National Identification System (NIS), revamping project which aimed to compile a national database of Ghanaians living in the country and abroad, as well as legal and permanent non-Ghanaian residents.

Guided by the National Identity Register (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Act 950), mass registration of persons above 15 years started from April, 2019 to June 2020, followed by a mop-up that ended on September 11, 2020.

Last year, the NIA in a bid to link the card to other IDs in the system, including the Tax identification Number and the Social Security number, as well as bring the exercise to the doorsteps of Ghanaians, opened more outlets.

 As of last week, the NIA revealed that more than 16 million Ghanaians had so far registered for the Ghana card, representing 85 per cent of Ghana’s adult population.

BY IGNATIUS AWUAH TANOE BLAY

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