There has been mad rush for the Ghana Card to meet the July 1 deadline set by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as the only national identification (ID) to be used for all financial transactions in the various banks.
A visit to the National Identification Authority (NIA) headquarters by the Ghanaian Times witnessed applicants patiently seated in long queues under tents while others kept on their feet waiting for their turn to be attended to.
At about 11:10 am yesterday, confusion erupted at the scene when they started rushing to secure seats so they could get their cards done as quickly as possible, but with the timely intervention of the police, calm was restored to the place to ensure the process continued.
The NIA centre currently offers a premium service at GH₵250.00 for the ID card to be issued instantly.
Mr Isaac Appiah, a businessman lamented that for the past three years, he was still chasing after his Ghana Card despite several follow ups made on the matter.
“I registered at Ashaiman in 2019 and have been chasing the card ever since but I am yet to be issued with my Ghana Card.
“This is my second day at the premises, I had to wake up very early than I did yesterday since I now live at Ada and my transport is GH₵100, I wish I could be allowed to just pay the GH₵250 and take my hands out of it,” he bemoaned.
Another applicant, Christiana Ashong, shared a similar sentiment saying she registered since 2019 but the card was yet to be delivered.
Expressing her frustration, she said they have made the Ghana Card seem as though it was cocaine or gold that you have to struggle to acquire. How can I be following one card for three years,” she lamented.
Mabel Ansah who was hopeful to have her missing card replaced said she had gone ahead to get the police report to make the process smooth but only to arrive at the centre to be directed to El-wak sports stadium.
“My friend told me she got her card replaced here, I got here and I was told that they did not replace cards and that I shouldn’t bother to join the queue,” she said.
The registration for people who decided to get the premium card was not easy as they had to join a queue to pay, to have their names captured then join another queue to get the card.
Those who were able to receive their cards since its registration after several follow ups expressed joy as they made their way home from the centre.
Akua Sarfo mentioned that she had been chasing her card for three years and was glad the hurdle was over.
“I thank God, after three years I can rest and focus on my business,” she said.
Meanwhile, several calls on the NIA by the Ghanaian times for their side of the story proved futile.
It could be recalled that in a press release dated January 19, 2022, the BoG disclosed that with effect from July 1, 2022, the Ghana Card will be the only identification card that will be used to undertake transactions at all BoG licensed and regulated financial institutions.
This, the statement said will enhance its (bank’s) objective of ensuring the safety of the financial system with pursuant to Regulation 7 of the National Identity Register, 2012 (L.I.2111).
Further, it read “this is to ensure that all financial transactions performed within the ecosystem are linked to one identity and information, and unique codes for the transactions shared with the BoG to facilitate the identification of initiators/ beneficiaries for track and trace purposes.”
BY JESSEL L. THERSON-COFIE & CONNIELOVE M. DZODZEGBE