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Gov’t’s National ID project takes off

Jan. 27, 2017, 11:17 a.m.

The Akufo-Addo government has begun the processes to implement a comprehensive national identification project .

The move is in fulfillment of a long-held NPP campaign pledge to build a database of Ghanaians and other nationals resident in Ghana.

Four Committees; Legal, Technical, Financial and Oversight are expected to spearhead the project.

President Nana Akufo Addo had promised to complete the National Identification system that was commenced by the erstwhile Kufuor administration within its first year in office, few days after he was elected.

Nana Akufo-Addo, who was speaking at a meeting with the Private Enterprise Federation at the Ghana Institute of Management And Public Administration (GIMPA), said the system will help ensure the country has a solid database.

A statement from the presidency indicated that the “National Identification project is expected to be completed within the first year of the NPP administration, in fulfillment of a manifesto pledge to complete the registration of all residents in Ghana under the National Identification Scheme, thereby establishing an integrated Data Warehouse of databases from key public institutions, using the National Identification System as the unique identifier for data items, and automating the processes involved in accessing public services at both national and local government offices.”

“The NPP government believes the National ID scheme would help formalize the economy through the establishment of a national database, using the National Identification System as the primary identifier, with linkages to the databases of institutions such as the Police, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Passport Office, Immigration, Courts, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA),” the statement added.

The move follows a broad consultative meeting chaired by the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, where all the major stakeholders, including the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR), National Identification Authority (NIA), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Ghana Revenue Authority and National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) underscored the need to have a single national database to aid policy planning and implementation.

Also in attendance were officials from the Ministry of Finance, Minister designate for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Electoral Commission (EC), Driver Vehicle and Licence Authority (DVLA), Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GHIPSS) and industry experts.

Addressing the representatives of the key stakeholders, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia noted that there has been too much talk around the issue of national ID cards but very little effective action or results even though $50 million has been spent on the project since 2009.

A single national ID system would, among others, track immunization of children and health care of citizens, issue drivers licenses and passports linked to digital identity registry, eliminate ghost names from the civil service payroll, and reduce cost of maintaining multiple Identity databases, the Vice President stated.