Ghana Card: Do more than you are doing to clear backlog – George Andah tells NIA

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A former Deputy Minister of Communications, George Andah, has asked the National Identification Authority (NIA) to provide additional ways for people to be able to obtain their GhanaCard in order to make the ongoing SIM re-registration exercise smooth.

He said the NIA must do more to clear the backlog of persons yet to obtain their card after going through the exercise.

“I think that we all need to move away from the barrier that we are putting in place of using national ID card. There are reasons why we are using the Ghana Card. The law makes it clear that the Ghana Card is the primary document for the identification.

“I will urge the NIA to do more than it is doing to clear the backlog of the people accessing their Ghana card,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 30.

For his part, the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George attributed most of the challenges in the SIM registration to system inefficiency.

He noted that some persons unable to link their Ghana Card to the SIM. When they attempt to do, they receive the invalid input notification.

Also, he said, there are long queues at the registration centers making it cumbersome for people to register.

“You haven’t resolved all these and you are going to punish them for your inefficiency, is that not arbitrary? Is that not capricious?” He also asked on the same show.

Sam George earlier indicated that the Minority in Parliament is not against any initiative by the government to provide a credible data base for persons holding identity cards in the country.

However, the opposition lawmakers, said they are against any attempt to illegally carry out what is supposed to be a legal exercise.

Addressing a press conference in Parliament on Thursday July 28, he said “as a minority caucus, we are not against any policy initiative that seeks to provide a clean, credible, reliable data based for persons who hold SIM cards in our country and use same for transacting private or public business. However, we are against any attempt to illegally carry out what should be a legal mandate.”

Sam George earlier served notice to sue the government if it goes ahead to block unregistered SIM cards after the deadline.

According to him, there was no legal basis for the government to block unregistered SIM cards hence, his decision to sue if that happens.

Speaking on the New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 Monday February 21, he said “Let me serve notice that the Minister’s threat of SIM card being deactivated by end of March this year is hot air, it won’t happen in this country, there is no legal basis. Ghana is not a banana republic, the Minister doesn’t just wake up throw orders around.

“Mark it here today,… people who have still not registered will be able to use their phone cards. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful will come back and tell you she is varying it. You cannot just wake up and say, I am giving six months, if you don’t register your SIM card you lose the SIM card.

“Go and take the SIM card and look at the SIM card, the terms and conditions that were attached to that sim card, when I got into a contract with my telco, my Mobile Network Operator, a part of it did not tell me that because of a Ghana Card I will lose use of my SIM card.

“I have a contractual agreement with you, I have airtime I have bought on my card and you will block it? We will sue them from here to mars and we will win the cases. Because at the end of the day, you don’t just wake up and use administrative orders. Article 296 of the constitution is clear, yes the Minister administrative powers but Article 296 of the constitution which talks about use of discretionary powers says, it must not be arbitrary, it must not be capricious and it must Not be whimsical. This order by the Minister is arbitrary, capricious and malicious. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has served notice that the deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards remains July 31.

The deadline was earlier pushed forward from 31st March to 31st July.

“More time will be required to update the SIM Registration App for the registration of diplomats, while a Self-Service SIM Registration App is also being developed to facilitate registration of SIM cards for Ghanaians resident abroad.

“This will be operational by mid-April,” a statement issued by Madam Owusu-Ekuful said on Tuesday, March 22.

Addressing a forum in Kumasi on Friday July 22, she appealed to all persons who are yet to re-register their cards to do so before the deadline.

“I therefore take to do so before the 31st of July,” she said.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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