The National Identification Authority(NIA) has expressed shock at claims made by the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) that the exclusion of the voter ID as a primary document for registering for the Ghana card is unlawful and illegitimate.
The National Democratic Congress(NDC) at a press conference said the cause to amend Section 8 of Act 750 to exclude some documents as registration requirements to establish the eligibility of a person was part of a grand scheme to rig the upcoming elections.
“The exclusion of the Voters’ ID card from the requirements of registration for the national ID card by the Akufo-Addo government, was part of a well calculated scheme to disenfranchise a good number of Ghanaians from acquiring the national ID card (Ghana card), which was to be used subsequently, as one of the registration requirements in the new voters’ register plan they had long hatched.
Friends from the media, the exclusion of the voters’ ID card from the registration requirements for the Ghana card was completely untenable as it contradicts every known best practice in Identity Management. All across the world, Experts in the field of Identity Management agree that an identity document for a national database must be possessed by a significant number of the population, prevent duplication, and has enough information for easy verification of identity,” Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, NDC National Chairman said.
However, the National Identification Authority in a response insisted the voter ID card was excluded from the list of required documents by law following the amendment which was supported by members of parliament of the National Democratic Congress.
The NIA stated there was no opposition from the minority in parliament when the amendment to exclude the voter ID was in motion.
A statement signed by its Head of Corporate Affairs ACI Francis Palmdeti said “This claim is most astonishing. The amendment of section 8 of Act 750 to exclude the Voter ID Card, Driver’s License and Baptismal Certificates as valid registration requirements was effected by Parliament in December 2017 without a whimper of opposition or protest from any member of Parliament.
The exclusive reliance on Birth Certificates, valid Passports and Certificates of Acquired Citizenship was supported by the NDC in Parliament. Indeed, the amendments received the unqualified endorsement of the Minority MPs in Parliament, and the MPs who spoke on the Bill were mainly from the Minority side, with each of them enthusiastically in support of the amendments. Indeed, as Hon. Inusah Fuseini put it, the MPs were satisfied that ample provision had been made in the Bill to cater for those Ghanaians who had neither a Birth Certificate nor a Passport, namely the “vouching for” process which allows for every undocumented Ghanaian to apply for and be issued a Ghana Card without producing a Birth Certificate or valid Passport. In these circumstances, the exclusion was both legal and legitimate, having been passed by the Ghanaian Parliament and on sound legal and social grounds”.
It further stated that the mandatory uses of the Ghana Card as contained in its Legislative Instrument which includes application for and issuance of a passport; application for and issuance of a driver’s licence; opening individual or personal bank accounts; transfer and registration of land by an individual; transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions; transactions specified under the National Health Insurance Scheme; purchase of a SIM card; transactions relating to pensions, transactions relating to insurance policies, transactions that have social security implications, registration as a voter; acquisition of a SIM card; payment of taxes; consumer credit transactions; and applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals, permissions or benefits makes it impossible for any calculated attempt to exclude large number of Ghanaians from getting registered.