NDC expresses misgivings over Ghana Card registration in V/R …But NIA dismisses claims

THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed misgivings over the extremely slow registration procedure at the various national identification registration centres in the Volta Region, saying the trend is unacceptable and unfair.

It said the trend was unacceptable, unfair and cumbersome, and it repeated incidence of shortage of registration materials, frequent breakdown of some registration machines and network difficulties were posing nightmares to the applicants.

At a news conference in Ho on Tuesday, Afriyie Ankrah, National Director of Elections of the NDC, noted that “some applicants usually turn up at centres at dawn and leave in the evening without going through registration processes”.

But the National Identification Authority (NIA) has dismissed claims by the party that it was deliberately frustrating the Ghana Card registration process in the Volta Region to denationalise residents.

An Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Francis Palmdeti, the Head of Corporate Affairs at NIA, insisted that such assertions were unfortunate because statistics from the region showed more than half of its 80 per cent catchment area target had been achieved.

“We have also witnessed situations where NIA registration officials commenced the process very late in the morning but closed long before 5pm, sometimes as early as 1pm, without any notification or consideration for people who have come from far communities.

“The two weeks duration for the exercise is woefully inadequate with regards to the  slow pace of the exercise, an extension to ensure no one is deprived of the chance to register,” and cautioned that “NDC will fiercely resist any attempt by the NIA or Electoral Commission to make national identification card requirement for voting,” Mr Ankrah said.

However, ACI Palmdeti  noted that NIA’s successes in the region proved it had not done registrants disservice, unfortunate exercise in the region has been described as disaster, story in the region has been better than in the Greater Accra Region.

“If we take our target for the Volta Region which is 80 per cent of persons 15 years and above, we captured 572,000 of eligible persons with total registration of 318, 022 above half target and those issued with cards are 230,000, it will be in our interest to have as many people as possible on national Identity register, it is when we have mass in register NIA stands chance of benefitting in any way from the Ghana card project.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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