National ID: Minority accuses gov't of abysmal failure

Ghana Politics

Politics / Ghana Politics 26 Views

The Minority in Parliament is waving a flag of failure against the government, accusing it of reneging on its promise to deliver the national ID to all Ghanaians in the first year of its administration.

With just 33 days to the end of 2017, Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George says the government has only been able to issue a dummy and dysfunctional ID card to the president contrary to the promise to issue to all Ghanaians.

Quoting page 83 of the 2016 manifesto of the NPP which promised to distribute national IDs to all Ghanaians within 12 months of its administration, Mr George insists the NPP has failed to deliver on its promise.

He made the comment while debating the 2018 budget read by the Finance Minister two weeks ago.

The NPP in its manifesto said the hallmark of the NPP government is to accelerate ICT. The first key point in achieving that is national identification scheme that will register all Ghanaians in the first year of its administration.

But the NDC MP said given the number of days left for the year to come to an end, it is impossible for the Ghana Card to be rolled to all 28 million Ghanaians as promised by the NPP.

He said after the president was issued with the dummy card on the 15 of September, 2017, no other person in Ghana has the card.

"Since then the Vice President who has been a poster boy for this campaign of the National Identification Authority, doesn’t have a national ID, the Speaker of Parliament who is number three in the country doesn’t have an ID, the Minister of Communication and her two deputies don’t have their national ID…” he chronicled.

He said on the basis of the campaign promise made and what has been achieved so far on the national ID, the only conclusion that can be drawn is one of failure and the NPP must accept that and move on.

But the Deputy Communications Minister is not in the mood to accept any tag of failure from a party he claims is notorious for failing.

Vincent Sowah Odotei said if only the NDC, had in the last eight years of its tenure, continued with the giant strides made by the erstwhile Kufuor administration in the area of national ID, no one will be talking about issuing new cards.

Their failure notwithstanding, Mr Odotei said the NPP is still committed to delivering on its promise to the people of Ghana.

He said but for a Supreme Court ruling which said the NIA could not issue a national ID until there is an amendment of the law, the government would have finished rolling out the cards.

At the moment, he said the government has gone back to Parliament to amend the law to make it possible for the NIA to issue the cards.

Apart from that he said the NIA has already given out a contract, personnel have been employed, and “everything is in place” for the cards to be rolled out after the law has been amended.

He said under the current legal regime, children at age 15 and below could not be issued with the National IDs but under the new amendment everyone no matter the age would be issued with national IDs.

He dismissed assertions the card issued to the president was dysfunctional.