The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it will from Wednesday begin the distribution of 541,529 National Identity Cards (Ghana Card) to applicants who applied since July 2022 but are yet to receive them.
This follows the completion of the expedited printing of backlog of cards, according to a statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Division of the NIA in Accra on Wednesday.
The National Identification Authority (NIA)
The exercise which started on March 18 to 27, was made possible by the release of GH¢100 million from the government to CalBank PLC to clear some debts for the release of blank cards for printing.
It said the printed cards, which were being packaged, would be distributed to NIA’s Regional and District Offices nationwide from today for issuance to registered applicants.
“The NIA stands committed to serving the public and the nation as a whole with respect, dignity, integrity and efficiency as a dedicated and responsible public sector institution,” it said.
The statement thanked the NIA stakeholders and staff who worked tirelessly on the printing.
The NIA has been at the centre of criticism from the public for weeks now due to their inability to print and issue cards to applicants who had been queuing at various centres.
The Executive Secretary of the Authority, Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, was dragged to parliament to explain the delay in printing the cards, following which the Ministry of Finance released money for the blank cards.
Launched in 2017, after a number of failed attempts, the card is a biometric national identification being issued by the NIA to both resident and non-resident Ghanaians and permanently resident foreign nationals as proof of identity, citizenship and residence.
The card and the phased registration exercise is governed by NIA Act, 2006 (Act 707) that gives the Authority the legal impetus and the National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) that authorises it to collect personal and biometric data.
More than 16 million Ghanaians have so far registered for the Ghana card, representing 85 per cent of Ghana’s adult population.