The road has now been cleared for Ghana to begin a nationwide national identification registration exercise in November 2017 following the passage of the National Identity Register Amendment Bill 2017.
The law was amended do away with the use of voters identity cards, drivers’ licence and baptismal certificates as proof of citizenship in registering for a national identity card, known as Ghana Card.
Under the current law, only birth certificates and passports will be accepted as proof of citizenship in registering for the Ghana Card. It has further introduced Residence Permits and other documents evidencing acquired citizenship.
The Bill, laid before Parliament on October 18, 2017, was passed Friday after it was read for the second and third time. This was after it was withdrawn on November 14, 2017 and re-laid under a certificate of urgency.
The NIA was established through the passage of the National Identification Authority Act 2006 (Act 707). As part of its functions, the Authority is responsible for the issuance of national identity cards to both Ghanaians and foreign nationals resident in Ghana.
In the performance of its statutory duties, the Authority is empowered to collect personal data on applicants. It is also required to ensure the accuracy, integrity, confidentiality and security of data collected by the Authority.
The amendment was aimed at bringing the law in tune with modern trends and also to ensure the accuracy and integrity of Ghana’s national Identification system.
According to the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ben Abdallah, the officials of the NIA informed the committee that the changes are consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court in Abu Ramadan vrs Attorney General delivered May, 2016.
By Owoahene Omari Acheampong|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana