Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, has assured that the National Identification Authority (NIA) will begin the rollout of processes for the issuance of the new National Identification Card in April, 2018.
In the latest assurance on this project, Dr. Bawumia said enough measures have been put in place to ensure a successful roll-out of the identification cards system.
The National Identification System is one of the three key pillars on which the government is seeking to capitalize on in formalizing the economy.
There have also been calls for the reproduction of new ID cards to be linked to a central database base to be used as the official state ID of any Ghanaian.
Speaking at the Ghana-Norway Business Forum in Accra, Dr. Bawumia said “a lot of work has been done and all things being equal, we expect a rollout of Ghana’s National ID system next month [April].”
“This means we are going to provide unique identification to everybody in Ghana, whether you are a foreigner or a citizen. We will have unique ID numbers and this will automatically transform into your tax identification number so when you don’t file your taxes, we know,” he explained.
In December 2017, Dr. Bawumia’s office stated that the rollout would begin in January 2018 though it was noted that the promise was contingent on the maturity of the Legislative Instrument (LI) on the policy before Parliament.
But January 2018 came with an explanation from President Nana Akufo-Addo that the Legislative Instrument which would have ensured the implementation of the programme was reviewed by Parliament after it was concluded that it could not effectively support the system.
The new Legislative Instrument was later prepared and submitted to Parliament when it resumed sitting in January.
The NIA is engaged in a PPP arrangement because of the limited investment from government.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Ken Attafuah, believes the PPP and a new revenue model will ensure that this second incarnation of the National Identification System succeeds.
Prof. Ken Attafuah
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In the first failed attempt, between July 2008 and May 2010, the NIA began mass registration of Ghanaians for the unique ID cards.
A total of 11 million people in six regions were registered in the process.
Amidst various challenges, the collection of the cards started later in 2011 although a significant number of Ghanaians never saw their cards.
But a few years after, some state institutions and banks rejected it as an unrecognized state identification card.