The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has intensified its resistance to the method being used by the National Identification Authority (NIA) to conduct the Ghana Card registration.
The NDC maintains that the NIA should allow the use of Voters’ ID cards and other national IDs as requirements for the registration.
This, they argue, will be a relief to the ‘majority’ of Ghanaians who do not have the birth certificates and passports which are currently the basic requirements.
Speaking on the AM Show on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NDC; Joseph Ade Coker, argued that an estimated 16 million Ghanaians are enrolled onto the Voters’ ID system and the NIA could easily rely on it to conduct the Ghana card registration.
“Many people haven’t got the documents that you are talking about [Passport and birth cert]
…so we are saying that we have got some cards which are already in existence such as the Driving license and Voters’ ID which are both biometric and with these cards all your details have already been captured…and you are going biometric as well so why do you delete those documents from the exercise,” he argued.
Mr. Coker added that in the rural areas, many people do not own the documents currently being accepted, the reason the NDC is concerned that many Ghanaians will be denationalized.
“…in some village in the north somewhere, nobody has got a birth certificate because you are born at home and you just go into the system, where will you get a birth certificate from. So then you have eliminated about 400 people,” he said.
Mr. Coker also thought the idea of having relatives or other individuals vouch for people without the requisite documentation is an extra burden since there are cards already in existence to do the job better.
The Member of Parliament for Akuapem South who was also on the AM show argued that the boycott by the Minority in Parliament was needless since their concerns have been addressed by the laws governing the process.
Osei Bonsu Amoah reiterated the point that where one doesn’t have the documents required, anyone could just guarantee for them under oath.
“They even behave as if getting a birth certificate is the most difficult thing…in my constituency recently, the birth and deaths registry came to register people to issue birth certs,” he stated.
He also expressed concern over claims by the minority that the government is being inconsistent with the cost of the project.
“If you look at the document sent to Parliament, the cost has being stated there and has even been broken down,” OB Amoah said.
“They are just unnecessarily drawing attention to themselves…” he added.
The Ghana card is part of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s dream of digitizing the entire country and the Economy.
It was part of his campaign promises and since 2017, the government has taken steps to implement the projects.
The NIA started the exercise last week after numerous postponements. The exercise started at the presidency and is expected to go to Parliament this week and then gradually rolled out to the entire public.