At least 32,752 double registrations have been detected by the National Identification Authority (NIA) in the ongoing nationwide Ghana Card registration exercise.
Professor Kenneth Attafuah, Executive Secretary of NIA, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Accra, said, the Authority was currently investigating the intents for which the applicants re-registered after which a decision on whether or not to prosecute would be taken.
Explaining further, he said, that most of the applicants involved in the illegal act had earlier registered and received their Ghana Cards at different centres and were red-flagged in their attempt to get a second card by the system.
“We detected double registration but the system declined to print because only one card can be activated for an applicant. We want to first know the motive behind those people who did that and if there was an attempt to undermine the process, a decision will then be taken,” he stated.
In a related development, Prof. Attafuah noted that the NIA also recorded 525 incidences of multiple cards printing due to system upgrade but explained that only one card per applicant was valid and has been activated for use.
The NIA was in the process of contacting all those who received multiple cards for retrieval of the inactive ones, he stated.
He said that presently, 350 Ghana Cards have been withheld by the Authority for eligibility assessment of applicants while others were found to have registered in the National Identity Register as foreigners but attempted to register as Ghanaians.
Those affected, the Executive Secretary added, would have to appear before a Registration Review Committee, which would be established in the various districts after the nationwide mass registration exercise, to review information of applicants before deciding whether or not to issue them their Ghana Cards.
He said the NIA has issued 1,950,245 out of 3,934,073 cards in the ongoing Ghana Card Issuance blitz which started on June 10 at 5,635 registration centres across the country.
In all, 9,050,346 cards have been issued from the 11,034,174 cards printed with registered applicants totalling 11,063,259, he stated.
The Authority, he noted, would consider an extension to the card issuance exercise date if majority of printed cards were yet to be issued.
Permanent regional and district offices, which were likely to be opened by September this year, Prof. Attafuah said would be able to issue out printed cards and entreated all applicants who were yet to collect their cards to do so at the centres they registered.
The registration exercise in the Eastern Region, which was truncated due to coronavirus (COVID-19), would be resumed today and last until June 27 in 33 districts, he said.
Applicants, he noted, would be grouped in batches in observance of the social distancing protocol as well as enforcement of other health and safety directives including nose mask wearing and hand washing to help in the fight against the disease.
“We are enforcing a no-mask no-registration policy. We will check temperatures, enforce hand washing and use of hand sanitiser and practise social distancing at all centres. All registration officials will be in a safety gear while scanners will be wiped after it is used by an applicant,” he noted.
A mop-up registration exercise, he said, would commence from June 18 to September 4 across all registration centres in the country.
Only Ghanaians, he added, were allowed to partake in the mop-up registration process saying that any foreigner who attempts to register for the Ghana Card during the exercise was in violation of the country’s laws.
Prof. Attafuah however, cautioned applicants against attempting to acquire the card with false information saying “it is an offence and punishable by law.”
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS