Business News of Saturday, 10 November 2018
The National Identification Authority’s requirement of a digital address for the registration and issuance of the Ghana Card appeared not to have been thought through properly.
This is the suggestion of researcher and Vice President of Policy Think Tank IMANI Africa, Bright Simons.
Mr. Simons believes that the NIA may not have taken into account the country’s housing dynamics before making the digital address a requirement for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, he indicated that more than the 120,000 homeless Ghanaians living in Accra alone would be denied the issuance of the card on the basis of the NIA’s digital address requirement.
“There are ~120000 homeless people in Accra alone. And an estimated 5.4 million slum dwellers in Ghana. Most of these people have “no fixed address.” How do you then tie a national ID system to an untested “digital address”? Do these decision makers understand their own country?,” Bright Simons quizzed.
The NIA last week turned away many people who showed up at the various registration centers at Adenta to register and receive their national ID cards, but were without their digital addresses.
A private legal practitioner, Francis Kojo Kwarteng Arthur last week sued the NIA over the digital ID requirement, contending that the requirement is illegal and must be scrapped from the list of requirements.
Lawyer Kwarteng Arthur in a Citi News interview said his research showed that there was no regulation in the GhanaPost and Courier Services Act that recognizes the digital address system.
“The digital address code is being powered by GhanaPost, so I got the Ghana Post and Courier Services Act and regulations, and looked through it, and there was nothing there operationalizing digital address code in Ghana. I am a lawyer and I’m in denial, so what about the ordinary person on the streets. So I decided to test it in court. My readings show me that there is no act operationalizing the digital address code so I want the court to declare that the digital address code is an illegality hence Ghanaian citizens who are willing and present themselves at the NIA to be registered should not be denied the Ghana card on the basis of not having the digital address code,” he said.
The NIA was earlier caught in the controversy over the birth certificate requirement for the issuance of the Ghana Card, but after several complaints from Ghanaians including the minority in parliament, the NIA announced that the birth certificate was no longer a requirement.