Ghana Card now a cradle-to-grave necessity, says Akufo-Addo
The Ghana Card, President Akufo-Addo has said, has finally been integrated into the everyday life of Ghanaians as a cradle-to-grave necessity.
He noted that the Ghana Card initiative has largely been made successful through the use of technology and the digitization of the economy.
“Indeed, Mr. Speaker, we are expecting greater things from the greater use of technology and the digitalization of our economy as a whole. I am happy to report that the National Identification Card, the Ghana Card, has finally been integrated into our everyday lives as a cradle-to-grave necessity,’’ said the President while delivering the State of the Nations Address (SONA).
He added that through the use of technology and the digitization of the economy, the operations of the Births and Deaths Registry have finally been digitized to make sure that documents issued from the department are accorded the respect they should have.
“Never again will it be that someone, born in this country, will live a full life, die and be buried, without any record of his or her existence. The operations of the Births and Deaths Registry are finally being digitised to make sure that documents issued from that department are accorded the respect they should have.”
“Every child born in this country will be registered, and the date of birth registered will remain your date of birth throughout your life. There will be no school age, no football age, no SSNIT age, and no official age. When we register for National Health Insurance, the details of our identification will be the same as the details on a driving licence, a passport and yes, on our tax identification.”
‘Today, we all have addresses at which we can be identified, even if we live, unfortunately for the time being, in a kiosk. And when we die, that inevitable rite of passage will be recorded to mark the end of our life.”
Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has opened another premium centre for registering and issuing Ghana Cards in the Greater Accra Region.
The new centre is located at CAL Bank’s Head Office premises on the Independence Avenue road in Accra.
According to the Head of Corporate Affairs for NIA, prospective applicants for the premium service will be required to pay an amount of GHS 250 to acquire the Ghana Card.
Abudu Abdul Ganiyu added that interested individuals can equally use the online registration process to schedule their appointments.
Mr Ganiyu explained this would help reduce the time spent in going through the manual process.
“As part of the process to make it efficient and give value for money, the NIA has introduced scheduled appointments which can be done online. It has been test run for some time, and following its success, we are now rolling it out for the premium services for now.”
Currently, there are three premium registration centres in the Greater Accra Region alone. Two are located at the NIA Head Office and a temporary centre at the El-Wak Sports Stadium.
Minority fights GHS 250 premium charge
The Minority in Parliament has described the charge for premium service as unjust and exorbitant, saying the decision breaches several laws.
Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Communications Committee, Sam George, explained that the amount is against the social justice phenomena of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“A lady asked a very important question, and as an MP, I didn’t have an answer. She is a Ghanaian and has a birth certificate, and another Ghanaian has a birth certificate.
“Our laws say that public services must not be discriminatory, and you are saying that if she doesn’t have GHS 250, she is not Ghanaian enough like somebody else; that is an injustice that we must fight against.
“Because GHS 250 is somebody’s whole monthly salary and for you to ask someone to pay GHS 250 to have just a card, is not right,” he said.