The National Identification Authority (NIA) is surprised at the posture of the Minority in Parliament towards the national identification exercise.
The Acting Public Relations Officer of the Authority, Francis Palmdeti, told TV3 on Wednesday, June 13 that he was shocked “listening to the arguments that were put forward” by the Minority on the floor.
The NIA requires either a passport or a birth certificate as proof of citizenship for the registration process for the new national ID card, Ghana Card.
But the Minority in Parliament raised concerns, arguing that the requirements will cause many Ghanaians to lose their citizenship.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs boycotted the exercise for lawmakers and insisted that the NIA must accept voter’s ID as a proof of citizenship or they seek legal interpretation of the famous 2016 Supreme Court ruling in the Abu Ramadan vs Electoral Commission case.
In the said ruling, the apex court ordered EC to delete from the voters’ register the names of all persons who acquired voter’s IDs using National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards as proof of identity.
But Mr. Palmdeti expressed frustrations how all of a sudden the NDC MPs have turned against a law that Parliament passed.
“When a law comes out of Parliament and we are being accused of taking out a Voter ID card when the law was placed before you, it is serious business they conduct there [in Parliament],” he said.
He said the law as it was passed could not all of a sudden be faulty because “I know parliamentarians at committee level do a thorough scrutiny of every document or every law that comes before them”.
Mr. Palmdeti is convinced that Parliament did not only pass the bill into the law which spells out the registration requirements but also were fully aware of the procurement processes.
But, he argued, they chose to call it an “overbloated” contract.