‘Its unfair’ – Elvis Darko fights NIA over Ghana Card backlog

The Editor for the Finder Newspaper, Elvis Darko, has asked the government to extend the deadline for the linkage of bank accounts to Ghana Cards.

The journalist also wants the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation to extend the deadline for the nationwide SIM card registration exercise to allow Ghanaians who are facing challenges retrieving their Ghana cards from the offices of the National Identification Authority (NIA).

Speaking on Dwaboase on TV XYZ Thursday morning, Mr Darko observed that there are a lot of Ghanaians who registered with the NIA but their cards have been delayed for months because of the inefficiencies of the Authority.

The Bank of Ghana has set July 1, 2022, as the deadline for all bank accounts in Ghana to be linked to Ghana Cards.

The development is the Central Bank and the government’s strategy to make the Ghana Card the primary ID in the country.

The Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation has also set the end of July as the deal for the nationwide SIM card registration exercise. The Ghana Card is the ID card accepted for the exercise.

But Elvis Darko believes that the government would be unfair to the thousands of Ghanaians who are still struggling to get their Ghana cards if it goes ahead with the directive.

“Personally, I didn’t have the NIA card but the day I decided to go and register to get one, I paid GHS 250 for a  premium service before I got my card. Many Ghanaians can’t pay that amount and that’s why we believe the cards should be free,” he said.

Blaming the NIA, Darko argued that  he did not go and register for the card when the nationwide exercise was being executed because of the long queues and “the pressure that was high at the time.”

“I decided that when the district offices are opened after the mass registration, the pressure would go down so I can go and get it done, but it appears that it is difficult to get the card when you go to the district offices to register,” he narrated. “There are many people who have registered their names but how to get the card has become a problem.”

He continued to urge the government to keep an eye on the activities of the NIA to ensure that the many people who have applied for the cards can get them before the deadline.

“You decided we move into an electronic regime and now you say by 1st July if you make any banking transaction, one must have a Ghana card. And Telcos too have said if you do not register your SIM cards using the Ghana Card, your sim would be deactivated,” he lamented.

“The individuals have done their part by registering but the institution [NIA] hasn’t provided the card and so if they are being restricted from enjoying the service then you [the government] are not being fair to the citizens,” he argued.

Asking the government and the relevant stakeholders to postpone the deadline, Elvis Darko recounted the stress he had to go through before getting his Ghana Card even after paying.

“There has to be an extension because even when I paid 250 cedis for getting the card, I was told I will be getting the card that very day but I had it the following day because they said they had issues printing the cards so how much more someone who did it for free?”

NIA Reacts

Meanwhile the National Identification Authority says it is working to print the backlog of Ghana Cards ahead of the July 1 registration deadline for banking transactions.

In an interview with XYZ reporter Wisdom Hededzome, the Head of Public Affairs at NIA, Abdul Ganiyu, stated the Authority will work on clearing the backlog of cards.

He also hinted that they will institute measures to distribute cards in various communities.



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