Registration for the Ghana Card is ongoing at Ghana Immigration Service and other centres
The National Identification Authority (NIA) has registered and issued instant Ghana Cards to over 2,500 Ghanaians since it commenced the exercise.
Registration is going on at the Jubilee House while attention is being turned to Osu Castle.
Registration has also started at Parliament House, the headquarters of Ghana Prisons Service and Ghana Immigration Service.
At this phase, the NIA will only register persons who have birth certificate or a valid passport.
However, the exercise is experiencing some teething challenges, which is slowing down the process.
Some registrants arrived at the centres without digital property address, which is a requirement.
In addition, it also turned out that passports presented by several applicants had expired and could not be accepted as a result.
The issuance of the Ghana Card, which has been branded as the ECOWAS Identity Card, in line with ECOWAS protocols, was slated to start on Monday, May 28, 2018, but failed to commence due to technical challenges. It finally commenced on Monday, June 4, 2018.
Documents required for registration
Anyone who wants to register has a duty to provide basic information, and digital property address code is one of them. The primary documents required are a birth certificate or a valid passport.
Existing Ghana Card
However, existing Ghana Card holders can also use it in place of birth certificate or a valid passport.
Vouching for people
When a citizen has neither of these documents, the person can be vouched for by one relative who has been registered and issued with the card or by two people who are not relatives but who know the person and have been registered and issued ID cards.
This vouching process must be made on oath before a Commissioner of Oath.
Other documents required
Aside the compulsory documents, which can be either a birth certificate or passport, registrants who have all or some of the following documents – driver’s licence, Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) card, National Health Insurance (NHIS) card, and Tax Identification Number (TIN) – are required to carry them along.
NIA will make an electronic copy and return them to the owner, and NIA would use the electronic versions as part of the person’s identity records purposes of data integration and harmonisation.
NIA has identified key influencers in society, such as former presidents and their spouses, and the former Chief Justice and her spouse, who would be given special treatment.
The authority is liaising with them and their offices to agree on a convenient time to register them at their homes or offices.
Banking and education sectors
When the authority is done with these special groups, registration would move to the banking and educational sectors and register Ghanaians from kindergarten to tertiary level, after which it would be extended to the general population in the Greater Accra Region.
The NIA estimates to spend between three and four months to register people in the key institutions, as well as the general public within Greater Accra. From here, the exercise would be extended to everyone living in the Greater Accra Region.
Regional rollout process
From Greater Accra, the exercise would move to the Volta, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Western, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central regions in that order.
The exercise is expected to last
for two months in the Ashanti Region while one month will be spent on each of the remaining eight regions.
All Ghanaians to be registered within one year
The NIA estimates to complete registration of Ghanaians within one year after extending the exercise to the general public.
Registration of Ghanaians abroad
According to the NIA, approximately six months after rolling out the exercise to the general public, NIA would begin the registration of Ghanaians abroad.
The NIA intends to roll out the exercise in close collaboration with Ghanaian missions abroad and Ghanaian associations in foreign countries working through the Diasporan Affairs Office, which is part of the Office of the President.
This is being done in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
To save cost, NIA plans to train personnel of Ghana Missions abroad and designate them as registration officials of the NIA and supplement that with personnel of NIA headquarters to the extent necessary.
Persons with the required documents who provide right answers to questions will be issued the instant ECOWAS Identity Card in approximately 30 minutes.
Creation of registration centres
NIA is required to use the polling stations previously used by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the general elections to the extent possible and as far as practicable.
However, because of instant issuance, it is not every polling station previously used by the EC that the NIA will use.
Therefore, NIA has mapped Greater Accra and scouted areas and positioned the registration centres at places with internet connectivity, to make instant card issuance possible.
For every mobile registration work station, there would be an interviewer, an assistant to the interviewer, mobile registration work station operator, and card verification officer.
1,700 Registration centres
On May 3, 2018, the NIA published in the gazette a list of 1,700 registration centres in the Greater Accra Region where registration will take place.
Mobile registration vans
In addition, mobile registration vans will be deployed to augment the process.
Before moving to any region, the list of registration centres would be published in the gazette for every region, as well as in the media.
2,500 Mobile registration work stations to be deployed
The NIA has purchased 2,500 mobile registration work stations, but has trained 2,700 operators so that the additional 200 will serve as backup. There will also be an equal number of officers for the interviewing assistant and card verification.
10,000 Field staff
This means that NIA will deploy not less than 10,000 staff to the field at any given time.
2,500 Standby generators available
The machines are fully charged overnight to ensure reliability of battery power during the day.
However, for backup, each mobile registration work station will be deployed with a standby diesel-powered generator to be used in case of down time with power.