The National Identification Authority (NIA) is ready to provide Ghanaians with a modern robust ID system and a smart ID card that will meet the modern aspirations of the people of Ghana. This was disclosed by the Ag. Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Ken Agyemang Attafuah at a Media Forum at the NIA on Wednesday 13th September. He said that the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo will be the first Ghanaian to receive the card when the programme is launched on the 15th of September, 2017.
Prof. Attafuah pointed out that the process which started in 2003 and rolled out in 2008 but encountered some hitches, has now been brought to completion. He explained that this was the first phase of the project and that the second phase will be the implementation of the national digital address system.
The card, he said, has a number of features that are acclaimed worldwide and could also be identified by blind people. He said that the process of registration involved taking all 10 fingerprints of each person. He said that a special camera will capture the iris of the eyes and the full features of a person’s face showing the 2 ears. According to him, the camera will not ‘snap’ if the lighting is not adequate or if the photographer’s hand shook a little.
The National ID Card can be used as a passport within the Ecowas region. The database of each citizen can also be synchronized with other systems so that if a person needs a passport, for example, the person’s data can be got from the system and the passport processed. All other systems such as the NHIS, DVLA, Electoral Commission and the banking sector can all plug into this system to obtain the bio data of any citizen. Prof Attafuah stated that this would make the work of the security services much easier as they can easily obtain information on everybody if need be.
He said that Ghanaians outside will also not be left out as they will all be registered. Prof Attafuah said that children will be registered at birth and therefore, the process will be continuous. Ages 0-14 will be given unique identity numbers but their cards will be different as they will not need to use all the features on the smart card.
According to him, the card is valid for 10 years and free for the first issue. A person will only be asked to pay when the card gets lost or is tampered with or, when it needs to be replaced after 10 years.
Those who have the old cards can still use them until they are issued with the new ID card.
Mr Moses K. Baiden Jnr., Group CEO, Margins Group, explained to Press that the cards are being produced with very high security features which would be recognized and accepted worldwide.