NIA defends letter on SIM re-registration but concerned

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The National Identification Authority (NIA) has mounted a spirited defence of a letter purported to be responding to some queries by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT), Dr. Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey.

The GCT CEO, in a letter in September 2021, sought three specific technical clarifications from NIA on the potential interface between the National Identification System (NIS) and the planned SIM registration exercise scheduled to commence the following month.

The response, which in part shied away from endorsing the quality of the biometrics to be captured by NCA, has raised concerns as regards data sanctity and legality.

But in a press release on Wednesday, January 19, the NIA emphasised: “The NIA stands by every statement contained in its response letter of 13th September 2021 as being technically factual, accurate, correct and honest.”

It said that letter was duly copied the ministers of Interior and Justice as well as the Executive Chairman of third parties Identity Management Systems II Limited (IMS II).

It pledged unalloyed support to the ongoing SIM cards re-registration, dispelling the “various meanings, interpretations, intentions and motives” that have been spun on its response letter, which it said could have been leaked.

“For the avoidance of doubt, NIA reiterates its ardent support for SIM card registration in this country as an important Government policy,” the press release signed by the Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, said.

“The NIA greatly values inter-agency co-operation and collaboration for the attainment of Government’s development policies and programs.

“To this end, it has successfully co-operated, within the framework of the law and public policy, with other user agencies such as SSNIT, NHIA, GRA and the Controller & Accountant-General’s Department in advancing data harmonization and integration in this country, and will continue to do so with the NCA and other state institutions.”

The NIA, however, expressed concerns how the letter was leaked in 2022 when it was written in 2021.

“It is regrettable that official correspondence between two institutions would be leaked and used for improper purposes.

“The NIA condemns such conduct which undermines public trust and dissipates the energies of public officials who have to address same.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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