The National Democratic Congress minority in Parliament have declared a boycott for Monday’s Ghana card registration exercise for parliamentarians.
A statement issued by the caucus leader, Haruna Iddrisu said they are unable to take part in the process due to several challenges including the limitation of the registration process to only persons with birth certificates and passports.
“We remain opposed to the restriction of identification requirements for registration to Passports and Birth Certificates. Our analysis show that this will prevent about 23 million Ghanaians from obtaining the Ghana Card and deprive them of any benefit thereof.”
It said it was surprising that a planned meeting to receive a briefing from the National Identification Authority (NIA) on the process had been postponed indefinitely.
The statement further accused the NIA of not being transparent in communicating details of the Ghana card project to the public, noting that its information showed that the total cost of the project was $1.4 with a tax exemption of $176 million but the while the Chief Executive Officer of the NIA, Prof Ken Attafuah, insists that the project will cost $ 293 million.
“We are also aware that despite the provision of Government support by the Akufo Addo government in respect of revenue projections for the project, this has not been brought to Parliament for approval in accordance with Ghanaian Law,” it added.
Parliament is among the key public institutions that have been selected for early registration of its staff for the National ID, also known as Ghana card.
Officials of the Presidency were issued with the cards last week following an earlier ‘no show’ by the NIA on an initial promised date.
Read the minority’s statement below:
PRESS STATEMENT BY MINORITY IN PARLIAMENT ON REGISTRATION OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT UNDER NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION SCHEME
The Minority Caucus in Parliament has taken note of an announcement that the National Identification Authority(NIA),will be carrying out a registration exercise in Parliament tomorrow,Monday,11th June,2018.
We find this development very surprising for a number of reasons.
First, it was our understanding that the National Identification Authority, would engage Members of Parliament in a meeting to clarify a number of issues relating to the roll out of the exercise. This meeting was duly advertised in the Business Statement at least twice only to be postponed again this time indefinitely when the Business Statement was read by the Majority Chief Whip, Hon. Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh last Friday the 8th of June, 2018. We still have no indication when this crucial meeting will be held.
Second, significant questions remain about the cost, scope and legality of the project as well as registration requirements.
With regards to the cost of the project, the leadership of the NIA, has been less than candid with the people of Ghana. Whereas documents available to us show that the total project cost is $ 1.4 billion which can be broken down down into $1,221,476,123 actual cost and tax exemption of $ 176 million, the Chief Executive Officer of the NIA, Prof Ken Attafuah, is on record as saying it will cost $ 293 million.
We are also aware that despite the provision of Government support by the Akufo Addo government in respect of revenue projections for the project, this has not been brought to Parliament for approval in accordance with Ghanaian Law.
Furthermore, we remain opposed to the restriction of identification requirements for registration to Passports and Birth Certificates. Our analysis show that this will prevent about 23 million Ghanaians from obtaining the Ghana Card and deprive them of any benefit thereof.
We also have grave concerns about potential breaches of Procurement laws and processes.
In view of the foregoing, we are unbale to participate in the registration exercise slated for tomorrow at Parliament house. Subsequent to this statement, we will hold a comprehensive press conference on Tuesday,12th June,2018 to shed more light on our position and matters arising out of the National Identification project.
HON HARUNA IDDRISU
MINORITY LEADER AND MP FOR TAMALE SOUTH
About the National ID card
The issuance of a National Identification ID card is among the government’s key promises to formalise the country’s economy.
Under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in 2009, the NIA began the process to register and issue the National ID card to all Ghanaians.
About 11 million people in six regions of the country were registered as part of the process between 2009 and 2010.
The cards were, however, ready for collection later in 2011, although a number of them could not be accessed.
But most banks and some state institutions rendered them useless as they rejected them as an unrecognised state ID card.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom/Ghana