The National Identification Authority (NIA) has announced an extension of the mass registration exercise in the Ashanti Region from Friday, January 10 to Thursday, January 16, 2020.
NIA officials said the move is to restore “the two registration days (27th and 28th December) lost to the Region because of the Christmas holidays” and also “account for the challenges encountered in the first two days of the exercise in many communities across the Region”.
In the statement signed by Head of Corporate Affairs, ACI Francis Palmdeti, the Authority also expressed grave concern over their missing devices meant for registration of prospective Ghana Card holders in the Region.
The NIA said it was worried, the situation could jeopardize their set targets.
The statement comes after a 20-year-old student of Agona Secondary Technical School was sentenced to four years in jail for stealing an HP laptop computer belonging to the Authority.
He was picked up by the police after it emerged that one of the laptops which was stored at the Christ Embassy registration center could not be traced.
A formal complaint was lodged to the police on December 16, 2019, leading to the arrest of the convict.
In another instance, police at the Airport District in Kumasi are also investigating another case of three missing laptops which is used for carrying out same exercise.
Two suspects are being pursued by the police.
While calling for cooperation and support, among officials and the citizenry, the Authority urged members of the divide to report any unprofessional and irresponsible conduct for appropriate action.
See full statement
NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY (NIA):
NIA MASS REGISTRATION IN ASHANTI REGION
The National Identification Authority wishes to share with the general public, especially residents of the Ashanti Region, the following points about the mass registration exercise currently on-going in the Region:
- The Mass Registration Exercise throughout the Ashanti Region has been extended from 10th January to Thursday, 16th January 2020. This extension restores the two registration days (27th and 28th December) lost to the Region because of the Christmas holidays. It also takes account of the challenges encountered in the first two (2) days of the exercise in many communities across the Region where citizens couldn’t register due to the late transportation of some registration equipment to registration centres by contracted third parties, and/or the late arrival of some registration officials at their centres, despite Management’s best efforts at averting same.
- NIA is concerned about the disturbing phenomenon of unusually large numbers of persons whose applications are “Awaiting Decision” or have gone into “Adjudication” and, therefore, have not had their cards printed and issued to them in the Ashanti Region. This situation frequently arises from discrepancies in the current versus previous biographic data of an applicant, particularly conflicts in date of birth, spelling of names, change of names and addition of names without the requisite legal documentation backing same. For instance, where an applicant presents 1st July 1987 in a previous NIA registration and indicates 1st July 1985 in the current registration as his/her date of birth. Conflicts such as change of date of birth, are particularly manifest in data submitted to NIA currently, compared to data submitted to NIA previously. The net effect of this situation is that tens of thousands of applicants are unable to get their cards and vouch for their relatives.
- The NIA technical system is sensitive and robust enough to detect slight variations in biographic data as well as acute similarities in biometric data between two or more individuals; the system is designed to “arrest” all suspicious registrations in order to ensure that our National Identity Register is credible and dependable.
- Adjudication and release of the cards of applicants with relatively “minor issues” are currently underway. Indeed, since 31st December 2019, thousands of such cards have been printed and are ready for issuance.
- The mass registration exercise is scheduled to commence in the Central, Western and Western North Regions immediately after the Ashanti Region exercise ends. In addition, it is the expectation of NIA that registration in the 16th and final region (Eastern Region) starts by late February to mid-March 2020.
- Meanwhile, the leap-frogging technique, which has been in use since the start of the mass registration exercise in the Greater-Accra Region on 29th April 2019, should help ensure that every nook and cranny of the Ashanti Region is covered, so that no community is left unregistered. This has been the experience in the Volta, Oti, Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper West, Upper East, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
- Undoubtedly, not every eligible Ghanaian can be registered during the mass registration phase; NIA seeks to register 80% of the population aged 15 and above. The remainder of the current registrable population, as well as Ghanaians aged under 15, will be registered after this mass registration exercise is over.
- NIA will establish, beginning in mid-March 2020, permanent NIA Offices in each Region, Municipality and District in order to ensure continuous registration. Prospective applicants will, at their leisure, visit NIA offices and get registered at no cost. NIA staff will also visit schools, hospitals, maternity wards, chip-compounds and other birthing centres to register all Ghanaian children. This way, all Ghanaians aged zero to infinity will be registered, and at no cost to them.
- Starting later this month, NIA will also operate offices jointly with a number of cognate institutions such as NHIA, SSNIT, DVLA, GRA, Births & Deaths Registry and Statistical Service. This co-location arrangement should enable applicants doing business at any of these offices to also register for the Ghana Card with ease, and at no cost.
- The foregoing processes and arrangements should assure the citizenry, especially those in the Ashanti Region, that while NIA encourages all Ghanaians to register as quickly as possible for the Ghana Card, they will never lose the opportunity to do so if they are unable to register during the mass registration phase. NIA will, with the resources available to it, aside the district offices, create premium centres in each region where appointments could be made by applicants to be registered for a fee. Institutions and Organisations can also apply to NIA to have their staff registered at their respective premises for a fee.
- While most NIA personnel are law-abiding and follow official instructions, some do not. We can achieve our targets if NIA staff conduct themselves professionally, and citizens conduct themselves responsibly. Allegations of bribery and corruption must be properly reported to the appropriate authorities with some credible evidence that would trigger effective investigation. Disruption of queue management arrangements, physical and verbal attacks on NIA staff, and theft of NIA equipment do not advance the object of achieving set targets. Citizen education, support and cooperation is vital in this regard.
- For enquiries or complaints kindly contact any of the following:
Phone: 0302 999 306-9
ACI FRANCIS PALMDETI
Head of Corporate Affairs
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH