The 2016 flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has lauded the government for the efforts being made to have a national identification system, describing the move as a “good beginning”.
The Akufo-Addo government has begun the process of implementing a comprehensive national identification project, in fulfillment of a long-held NPP campaign pledge to build a database of Ghanaians and other nationals resident in Ghana.
At a broad consultative meeting chaired by the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, all the major stakeholders, including the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR), National Identification Authority (NIA), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Ghana Revenue Authority and National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) underscored the need to have a single national database to aid policy planning and implementation.
Dr Nduom believes “this must be seen as a matter of national interest without partisan colouration”.
He said that “The PPP believes in this project. I have advocated for it for more than two decades. Others have also argued for it. We must all continue to encourage those charged with the responsibility to bring the project to a successful end to get it done with a high sense of urgency.”
“Ghana will be a better, more disciplined country when the project is completed successfully,” Dr Nduom posted on his Facebook Wall on Thursday, January 27.
The National Identification project is expected to be completed within the first year of the NPP administration, in fulfillment of a manifesto pledge to complete the registration of all residents in Ghana under the National Identification Scheme, thereby establishing an integrated Data Warehouse of databases from key public institutions, using the National Identification System as the unique identifier for data items, and automating the processes involved in accessing public services at both national and local government offices.
The NPP government is convinced the National ID scheme would help formalize the economy through the establishment of a national database, using the National Identification System as the primary identifier, with linkages to the databases of institutions such as the Police, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Passport Office, Immigration, Courts, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
Addressing the representatives of the key stakeholders, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia noted that there has been too much talk around the issue of national ID cards but very little effective action or results even though $50 million has been spent on the project since 2009.
A single national ID system would, amongst others, track immunization of children and health care of citizens, issue drivers licenses and passports linked to digital identity registry, eliminate ghost names from the civil service payroll, and reduce cost of maintaining multiple Identity databases, the Vice President stated.
A total of four Committees – Legal, Technical, Financial and Oversight – have been constituted to shepherd the project.