The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it is operating more than 300 centres across the country to register and issue Ghana cards to applicants.
To this end, it has called on the public not to mass-up or sleep at centres in wait for registration.
Acting Head of Corporate Affairs of the NIA, Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, in an interview with Ghanaian Times on Friday, said the offices were spread across the various regions and districts.
“The Authority is going to be in the districts and regions forever and that is the reason there should really not be panic or anxiety because any day you can wake up and go to the NIA office for any of these services to be offered you,” he stated.
He explained that NIA would request for extension to the deadline for SIM card registration if it was realised that majority of Ghanaians did not have the Ghana Card, the only identifiable document required for the registration.
“I understand that the card is in demand for various services such as SIM card registration, but that is all the way to March next year and if we get to that point where we realise that we still have a significant portion of our population not registered, we are going to call for an extension,” Mr Abdul-Ganiyu stated.
The Ghanaian Times, within the week, observed long queues at various centres for Ghana card registration after the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation announced that only the Ghana card would be used as the only proof of identity for registration of the mobile SIM cards.
The re-registration of mobile SIM cards, which commenced in October this year, is expected to end on March 31, 2022.
The exercise is in accordance with the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, LI 2006, to curb SIM boxing and other criminal activities.
However, a visit to some centres in Accra showed a reduction in applicants massing up at the centres.
Abdulai Sulemana, Assistant Administrative officer, GRA Agbogbloshie Taxpayer Service Centre, attributed the reduction in numbers to the use of a quota system where a downsized number is registered.
“For now the only measure to curb long queues here is by giving a quota. We give out numbers to people in the queues in the morning. If you don’t get some of the number, we ask you to go and come back the following morning,” he added.
Another challenge inhibiting the registration process, he said, was the submission of invalid details by applicants.
“People come here with wrong digital address or no digital address. The education about the process hasn’t gone down well and will plead with the media to help with that,” Mr Sulemana said.
He advised the public not to waste their working hours at the centres as they would be in operations permanently.
At the Ring Road Large Taxpayer Office, Derrick Ababio Anim, District Regional Officer, disclosed that the queues at the district office had reduced drastically.
He said the Office had instituted three appointments sessions where they sent applicants text messages with the date and time for their registration.
“Initially, when issuance of the card began in November 3, we used a number system to issue out cards, but currently, we are using an appointment system to issue and register new applicants,” he added.
Mr Anim stated that the cards were issued instantly after registration.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS