Home / We’ll stick to Parliament’s laws – NIA

We’ll stick to Parliament’s laws – NIA

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has said that it will follow the guidelines by parliament despite calls by former President John Agyekum Kufuor for the inclusion of voter ID card to its list of base documents required for registration for the Ghana Card.

“The NIA also takes note of Ex-President Kufuor’s comment on the exclusion of the voter’s ID card as one of the identity documents required by an applicant for registration for the Ghana Card. The NIA, as a creature of statute, will continue to be governed by, and respect, the existing laws passed by Parliament,” a statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Department of NIA said on Wednesday 27 June 2018 in response to the suggestion of Mr Kufour.

Mr Kufour had told journalists at his residence on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 after NIA officials went there to register him that “…the voters’ ID has to be part of it”.

“It’s been a rigorous exercise”, Mr Kufuor said, adding: “Almost for the past two hours, which means it could take a lot of time”, especially “when you are going to do it for over 30 million people”, explaining: “Documents that will help identify a citizen as a citizen will be sovereign authority in him or her so if your voter ID is not incorporated”, then “how would you say you also have the ‘Kokromoti power’ (franchise) [which] will make and unmake a government?”.

The Minority in Parliament have welcomed former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s endorsement of their position that voter ID cards should be included in the required documentation for the Ghana card registration exercise.

The Minority have boycotted the registration claiming the exercise will disenfranchise and de-nationalise several Ghanaians because only birth certificates and passports will be used as identification for registration.

Deputy Minority leader, James Klutse Avedzi, told Class News the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) feels vindicated by Mr Kufuor’s position.

However, the NIA believes Mr Kufuour’s registration is an “unqualified endorsement of the registration exercise and his clear rejection of the boycott by the Minority in Parliament”.

“There is absolutely no intention on NIA’s part to disenfranchise or denationalize any Ghanaian. The National Identity Register being compiled by the NIA is not a substitute for the Voter’s Register which the Electoral Commission alone is by law mandated to compile, and the Ghana Card is not a substitute for the Voter’s Identity Card,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Former President Jerry John Rawlings, has, through a statement issued by his office, signed by Mr Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, Communications Directorate, said “many” of the concerns expressed by the Minority in parliament and the NDC, as far as registration for the Ghana Card is concerned, are “legitimate”, and urged the NIA to “re-examine” those issues.

According to the statement, Mr Rawlings, who got registered for the card on Tuesday, 26 June, despite his party’s boycott of the process over the cost involved as well as the refusal by the NIA to use voter IDs as one of the base documents needed for the registration, “urges all stakeholders, especially the National Identification Authority, and both the Minority and Majority caucuses in Parliament, to deliberate dispassionately on the concerns, many of which are legitimate, in a bid to bring sanity into our democratic process and ensure that all eligible Ghanaians benefit from the process”.

Mr Rawlings’ office also used the statement to dispel claims that allowing himself to be registered for the card amounted to call on members of his party to disregard the stance of the leadership of the NDC as well as the Minority, on the matter.

Find below the full statement by the NIA :

RE: PRESIDENT KUFUOR’S COMMENTS ON GHANA CARD

The National Identification Authority has observed with gratitude media reports to the effect that Ex-President J. A. Kufuor has called on all Ghanaians to avail themselves for registration and issuance of the Ghana Card.

The NIA welcomes his unqualified endorsement of the registration exercise and his clear rejection of the boycott by the Minority in Parliament.

The Ex-President’s call underscores the importance of the National Identification System to effective identity verification and planning, and in accelerating the course of our Nation’s economic, social and political development.

The NIA also takes note of Ex-President Kufuor’s comment on the exclusion of the voter’s ID card as one of the identity documents required by an applicant for registration for the Ghana Card. The NIA, as a creature of statute, will continue to be governed by, and respect, the existing laws passed by Parliament.

In exercising its statutory mandate, the NIA is determined to ensure that every Ghanaian at home and abroad is duly registered and issued with the Ghana Card, while at the same time doing all in its power to protect the boundaries of Ghanaian citizenship and the accuracy and integrity of the National Identity Register as by law required. Indeed, as NIA has pointed out time and again, those Ghanaians who lack any of the prescribed identity documents can be registered by being vouched for in accordance with the law, at no cost to them.

There is absolutely no intention on NIA’s part to disenfranchise or denationalize any Ghanaian. The National Identity Register being compiled by the NIA is not a substitute for the Voter’s Register which the Electoral Commission alone is by law mandated to compile, and the Ghana Card is not a substitute for the Voter’s Identity Card.

ISSUED: CORPORATE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY

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