The National Identification Authority (NIA) has responded to some comments by the Former President of Ghana and Flagbearer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama.
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed two suits that were seeking the use of the existing voter identification card and birth certificates as the source documents for the impending voter registration exercise.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s ruling at a press briefing Thursday evening, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama said the Party was disappointed in the verdict of the Supreme Court reiterating that the compilation of a new voter register will disenfranchise a number of Ghanaians.
The National Identification Authority (NIA) in a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs for the Authority, Aci. Francis Palmdeti said the former President during the press conference made (3) inaccurate statements following the Supreme Court ruling.
The NIA has since taken its time to respond to the said comments in a statement.
Read full statement below:
NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY
26th June 2020
To All Media Houses
For immediate release
NIA RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT MAHAMA’S COMMENTS ON NIA FOLLOWING SUPREME COURTS VERDICT IN NDC VRS EC CASE
The National Identification Authority (NIA) wishes to correct three (3) inaccurate statements made by the flagbearer of the NDC, H.E John Dramani Mahama at a press conference held last night on 25th June 2020 following the Supreme Court ruling. Former President Mahama claimed at the said press conference that:
PRESIDENT MAHAMA: “The Ghana Card, which has been made one of two identification documents has not been rolled out in full.”
NIA’S RESPONSE: The NIA fully rolled out the Mass Registration Exercise on 29th April 2019 to register Ghanaians and issue them with biometric ID Cards and was left with just a week to complete. But for the outbreak of COVID-19, NIA would have completed the registration exercise in the Eastern Region by 27th March 2020 after having conducted the exercise in 15 other Regions. The Mop-Up Exercise currently underway is to further provide opportunity for those who could not register to do so.
Indeed, as at 23rd June 2020, NIA had registered a total of 11,385,494 eligible Ghanaians, printed 11,172,261 cards and issued 10,854,829 cards to qualified Ghanaians. The target was to register 80% of the population aged 15 and above. A total number of Ghanaians aged 18 and above have been issued 10,576,120 Ghana Cards. By the end of the mop-up registration exercise, it is expected that 16.7 million eligible Ghanaians would have been captured on the National Identity Register and issued the Ghana Card.
PRESIDENT MAHAMA: “As we speak, these cards are still being issued with no mechanism for verification.”
NIA’S RESPONSE: This claim is false. The majority (7,163,935) of Ghana Cards have been issued through the online verification mechanism. There is an inbuilt mechanism for the verification of the 3,690,894 cards currently being issued using the Card Issuance Album. The use of manual verification is not a novel practice. There are various methods of verification. One can use the ocular inspection method, the match-on-card method or the one-to-many method which is online. The National Identity System is designed to utilize any or all of these methods.
Applicants who visit the Card Issuance Centres are identified and issued their Ghana Cards by NIA officials using the ocular verification method, i.e Crosschecking of their photographs, name, date of birth, telephone number and other details as captured in the album against the registration slips they submit or their verbal claim.
It must be added that, the adoption of the card issuance album in the card distribution process was informed by the following considerations:
- To enable speedy distribution of 3.9 million cards to applicants.
- To prevent the situation of having 3.9 million applicants across the country going to the registration centres when NIA’s mop-up exercise starts. The manual verification will reduce the risk of applicants undermining the protocols on physical distancing (COVID-19).
PRESIDENT MAHAMA: “The National Identification Authority itself has admitted to duplication of thousands of these cards”
NIA’S RESPONSE: This statement is regrettably false. Out of the 11,172,261 printed as at 23rd June 2020, there has only been 525 instances where more than one card has been printed for an individual bearing different Personal Identification Numbers. This situation was caused by an error during a system update which error has since been resolved.
A more detailed explanation is on the NIA website and was in the speech of the Executive Secretary of NIA when he addressed the media on 17th June 2020. Suffice to add that, only ONE card can be active against a set of biometrics (face, fingers and iris). In effect, no one can use two cards at the same time neither can anyone use the card of another person. The system automatically assigns invalid multiple card details to a watch list.
NIA would like to assure the general public that its mandate to register and issue Ghana Cards to citizens of Ghana is very much on course.
SGND: ACI. FRANCIS PALMDETI
HEAD, CORPORATE AFFAIRS, NIA
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