Executive Secretary of the Ghana Identification Authority, Prof. Ken Attafuah has said Ghanaians in the diaspora would get their Ghana cards from the second half of 2019 and most would have had it by early 2020.
Addressing a cross section of Ghanaians in Toronto Canada over the weekend on the progress the NIA has made so far on the cards, Prof. Attafuah said the law mandates the NIA to provide all Ghanaians in the diaspora with the card.
“It is therefore our hope that, we will start registering Ghanaians in the diaspora in 2019 before our deadline of early 2020 ends,” he said. The card will be free for Ghanaians who will register in Ghana.
“Ghanaians in the diaspora will pay a token fee for the card,” Prof Attafuah said.
He said the NIA will soon finalize the fees and it’s likely to vary depending on which country one finds himself.
Mass registration from 3rd November
The cards were supposed to be printed for Ghanaians in May this year but was unsuccessful due to system glitch. This caused some embarrassment for the NIA. Prof Attafuah said all the problems they encountered in May have been resolved hence the plan to begin mass registration from November this year.
“We intend to begin with Madina and Adentan municipalities from November 3 and we’ll move from region to region after that, starting form the Greater Accra Region” he said.
Prof. Attafuah, said the NIA will spend at least a month in each region and makes sure “every Ghanaian in every town, village and hamlet is given a Ghana card.”
Minority and matters arising
He said almost 90,000 Ghanaians have been registered so far. This number includes most majority members of parliament, the security services and some civil servants. He said it has been hugely successful.
On the issue of minority members boycotting the registration in parliament, Prof. Attafuah said broad consultations were done with parliamentarians from both the NDC and NPP. He said members such as Tamale Central MP Inusah Fuseini and other minority members on the constitutional and legal affairs committee of parliament all agreed for birth certificates or passports to be used as basis to establish citizenship.
“It therefore came as a shock when they refused to be registered insisting we accept voters’ ID card,” Prof Attafuah said.
He said the NIA I addressing the issue allows for one family member to vouch for anyone who doesn’t have a birth certificate or two individuals who know the person to vouch for them.
“Commissioners of oath will be on hand to help the people who will identify these individuals without the valid proof do so under oath per Section 8(2) of the national identity Act,” he said.
Prof. Attafuah said Dan Botwe, MP for Okere was the only majority MP who declined to register and it was because his local language was not captured in the list of languages captured by the NIA. Prof. Ataffuah said the NIA has since updated its language list.