The government must resource the National Identification Authority (NIA) to ensure that it is able to take the GhanaCard registration exercise close to Ghanaians, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Telecommunications, Mr Ken Ashigbey, has said.
This, in his view, will enable more Ghanaians to register and obtain their cards.
“The NIA must be given the resources to be able to take the registration close to the citizens,” Mr Ashigbey said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday August 6.
The NIA earlier promised to take registration a step closer to Ghanaians in households and densely populated areas.
The Authority says this is part of efforts to get a large chunk of the populace registered for the cards, popularly known as Ghana Cards.
Speaking on Ghana Tonight on TV3 on Monday, August 1, Executive Secretary of NIA Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah said his outfit will continue to register Ghanaians – about 3 million per estimate – as part of its mandate.
Prof Attafuah said additional registration points will be opened to serve those who are yet to be enrolled onto the scheme.
“We are going to increase and deepen the possibilities within budgetary allocation,” he told host Alfred Ocansey.
“We have household registration facility, we have institutional registration facilities and we have premium registration facilities in addition to our offices that are operational.”
Prof Attafuah was, however, concerned that not all applicants will get their issues sorted out before the September 30 deadline given by the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, for the SIM card re-registration exercise.
He insisted that the Authority does not operate with a deadline but was rather set up by law to operate in perpetuity.
“In terms of human resource, it is inadequate to meet the needs that are being, as it were, expected to emerge now. We were not set up like that.
“We were set up to finish mass registration and then to have continuous registration through the regional and district offices. That is the scheme prescribed by law and that is the scheme we are implementing and we are doing so in perpetuity. There is no timeline and the intendment of the law is that people will go to the NIA at their leisure and pleasure to go and get registered and those people will be those who were not captured during registration.”
He added that the Authority is poised to liaise with metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and police commands to move into communities to register unregistered residents.
“We know that people must have their cards. So, we are going to implement measures that will allow us, for example, we are at the district and regional offices. Where it is feasible to move from [there] into a community that is not a district office but a lot of people are there and they don’t have their cards, we will liaise with the metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives and with the police command to provide us with transportation and other logistics to see how much we can enter into the communities outside official prescribed locations to try and issue cards to people.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana