It’s past 11a.m at the Aputuogya in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region.
Many residents have formed long winding queues at the Immaculate Conception of Mary Roman Church auditorium —as officials of the National Identification Authority(NIA) begin to register qualified applicants for a national identity card.
A 44-year-old mother-of-four, Margaret Antwi has just come out of the auditorium —which is also a registration center.
She is busily fidgeting on her phone to generate a digital address as she has been told by officials it is a requirement in the registration exercise.
Also known as The Ghana Card, it is issued by the Ghanaian authorities to Ghanaian citizens – both resident and non-resident, and legally and permanently resident foreign nationals. It is proof of identity, citizenship and residence of the holder.
So far, the exercise has been conducted in 11 regions throughout Ghana out of which over two million cards have been issued.
But Margaret narrates how frustrating it was to generate the digital address from the GPS App— since it is a requirement in order to obtain the National Identity Card.
“I have just been told that I need the Digital Address”, she says adding, “I doubt if I can get the Ghana Card because I don’t have it and it is time consuming”.
Unlike Margaret Antwi, 35-year-old Daniel Appau, who had all the requirements including passport, voter identity card, social security number among others —was asked to come for his card in four working days.
“Well I have just been taken through the process”, said Daniel who was quick to add that, ” but I was told to come on Saturday.
The situation was no different at Anyaano at the Moshie Zongo electoral area in the Kumasi Constituency of Manhyia North.
An opinion leader complained, “The materials arrived late and we don’t understand the reason why they wasted so much time like that. We’ve been here since morning and they just arrived. We don’t know why they delayed like that.”
Apart from the myriad of challenges, residents appear unaware of the ongoing exercise.
“I just came to check what was going on here. I know the exercise has started across the country but I didn’t know it has started in this region”, one gentleman said.
DailyMailGH.com correspondent Jonathan Ofori reported that turn out was relatively low following the technical challenge that characterized the first day of the exercise.
Ofori added officials were struggling to address the challenge at the time he was leaving the center.
Meanwhile, a total of 15,000 registration officers are in the region to take care of 833 registration centres.
Addressing a press conference at Ejisu on Monday [December 2, 2019], the Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah said the authority would operate from 47 district offices.
He said a number of centres would be set under the district offices and appealed to the residents to move to any of the centres closer to them to get themselves registered.
He warned staff of NIA against extorting money from the people and also asked residents not to pay any money to any official for the purposes of getting registered for the card.
He said the process was free of charge and that residents would only pay for the card if they misplaced it or during a renewal.
As of now, Prof Attafuah said the NIA has registered a total of 4,857,845 Ghanaians, printed a total of 4,291,840 cards and issued 2,695,478 Ghana cards.
He said the Ashanti region is the region the Authority is targeting its largest number to be registered and believed that the exercise would be successful as the authority now has the full complement of its equipment.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH