The Minority Caucus of Parliament on Friday underscored the need for every Ghanaian to have the National Identification (ID) Card (Ghana Card).
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, speaking on the floor of Parliament, said: “The matter of the National ID Card and even the contemplation of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, using it as a basis for registration or for the conduct of the 2024 (general) election, makes it a democratic imperative that every deserving Ghanaian has the National ID Card. And any failure on their part will throw our democracy into jeopardy.”
The Minority Leader said on daily basis, he sees queues of old men and women and young people just at the gate of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council in Tamale to apply for the National ID Card.
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“That public good must be made easily and increasingly available to the Ghanaian,” Mr Iddrisu stated.
Mr Samuel Nartey George, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram/Deputy Ranking Member for Communications, who raised the issue on the Ghana Card on the floor of the House, urged the Business Committee of the House to schedule a joint meeting for the Ministers of Interior, Communications and Digitalisation and Finance to brief the House on the Ghana Card issue.
He reiterated that Parliament had oversight responsibility over the Interior Minister, who oversees the National Identification Authority (NIA); the Communications and Digitalisation Minister, who oversees the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Finance Minister who had oversight over the Bank of Ghana.
He said the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation had issued a deadline of 30th of June; that is from 1st of July, they were going to deactivate unregistered mobile SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) Cards and that the Bank of Ghana had also directed that from the 1st of July, one would not be able to access his Bank account without the Ghana Card.
He noted that these state institutions were basing their directives on Legislative Instrument (LI) 2111, which was passed by the House.
“Even the Electoral Commission is preparing to bring up a Constitutional Instrument (CI), that is to create to a new voter register using the Ghana Card,” Mr George said.
He said some Ghanaians who had registered for the Ghana Card since 2018, the NIA was unable to provide them with their cards; saying “So, as representatives of the Ghanaian people, what is this House going to do, between now and the 30th of this month (June) to ensure that our constituents who had registered for the Ghana Card get the Ghana Card, so that they would not be disenfranchised”.
He said if the NIA was unable to provide those Cards for Ghanaians, who were willing and ready to register, it was time for it to be made known to the Authority that they should not put their constituents in jeopardy.
Mr Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor, the MP for South Dayi, said the District Offices of the NIA were sited far away from the people and that it had become difficult for MPs to transport people to and from the offices for their Ghana Card registration.
He, therefore, appealed to the NIA to move around to reach out to the people for the Ghana Card registration, which they had done before.