NIA ready to give EC data for new register – Attafuah

The Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, has revealed that the Authority has registered over 50 percent of the country’s voting population in its ongoing mass registration exercise for the issuance of the Ghana Card. “We have registered over 7.2 million people as at [Friday, January 17, 2020]. That is more than 50 percent of the voting population as at today.” He further revealed that 94 percent of eligible Ghanaians that NIA’s mass registration exercise has captured “to date are 18 years old or will be 18 years by voting date”. The Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register has been greeted with stiff opposition with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) leading the charge. The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations and individuals under the Ghana Anti¬Corruption Coalition, have also rejected EC’s intention. Responding to a question at a press briefing in Takoradi in the Western Region on whether or not the EC could rely on the NIA in generating new voting data, Professor Attafuah said the NIA “have everything that the EC might want to ask the citizens for the purposes of voting except polling station numbers or centers”. But Professor Attafuah said generating polling station number or centers for the Ghanaians they have registered “is as easy as ABC technically speaking and the NIA has the capacity to give the EC all the data sets of all the people who are 18 years and above”. “We can transfer all the data set in a maximum of five days …the millions of data,” he stressed However Professor Attafuah said “if the EC were satisfied that a good work has been done by the NIA and there is no need to duplicate or replicate, and the EC was satisfied also that no legal or constitutional barrier to its use of the NIA database for the construction or the extraction of a National Voter register then surely… if the EC were to come to the conclusion that the constitutional provision that it shall issue ID cards could be interpreted purposively to include the notion that it can prescribe what document could be used as valid then perhaps even the Ghana Card can theoretically be considered as a valid instrument for voting”. Despite the opposition against the compilation of a new register and IT system, 13 political parties including the New Patriotic Party NPP back the EC’s intention.

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By Eric Yaw Adjei||Ghana]]>