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NIA resumes free Ghana Card registration for first time applicants

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has truncated the 10-days free Ghana Card registration special exercise initiated to exclusively register public sector workers.

Consequently, the ongoing exercise has been opened to all Ghanaians aged 15 years and above without Ghana Card from today.

This is the result of highly disappointing patronage of the exercise which is meant to ensure that every public sector worker has a Ghana Card before the Controller and Accountant General kick starts no Ghana Card, no salary policy later in the year.

The low patronage is surprising considering the high publicity about the exercise and the fact that it was being done at the request of Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD), and at no cost to first-time applicants.

Estimated 260,000 Public Sector workers expected to register

The CAGD estimated that between 250,000 and 260,000 Public Sector workers on government payroll would participate in this exercise and this informed the decision to set aside 10 days to exclusively register them.

87 public sector workers registered in 5 days

However, for five days which started from August 28 to September 1, 2023, NIA registration centres nationwide recorded only 87 public sector workers registering.

27 centres registered only one person each in 5 days

From 37 registration centres nationwide, two registered eight people each, one recorded three registratrions, seven centres registered two people each while the remaining 27 centres registered only one person each in five days.

Unexpected low turnout

NIA has therefore truncated the exercise which was initially slated to span ten days, from August 28 to September 8, 2023, due to the unexpected low turnout,

All persons without Ghana Card can register for free from today

Therefore, effective today, Monday, September 4, 2023, the registration is open to a larger number of eager Ghanaians who seek to obtain their Ghana Cards and to ensure that NIA’s registration services are readily accessible to all eligible citizens.

A statement issued by the NIA’s Corporate Affairs Directorate explained that the opportunity is still available for all public sector workers on government payroll who are first-time registrants to obtain the Ghana Card during the expanded registration.

It added that while first-time registration remains free at all NIA offices, there is a statutory fee of GH34.50 for replacing a Ghana Card or making changes to personal records, such as name corrections.

According to the Authority, this service will be available to qualified applicants free of cost at all 16 Regional and 276 District Offices of the NIA nationwide except for Regional Offices which operate the Premium Services.

These are; Kumasi – Ashanti Region, Sunyani – Bono Region, Techiman – Bono East Region, Koforidua – Eastern Region, Tamale – Northern Region, Ho – Volta Region, Takoradi – Western Region and  Sefwi Wiawso – Western North Region.

With the availability of over 480,000 blank cards nationwide, NIA said it is ready to resume Household and Institutional Registration Services, catering to households with five or more Ghanaians and organizations with 50 or more Ghanaians, providing them with registration services at specified locations.

 The Household Registration costs GH150 per applicant, while the Institutional Registration costs GH100 per applicant along with logistics fees.

NIA encouraged all prospective registrants to promptly report any NIA staff attempting to extort money from them beyond these statutory fees to the Authority.

The Authority is counting on the vigilance of the applicants to help it maintain the integrity of the registration process and ensure that every Ghanaian can obtain their Ghana Card without any undue financial burden.

In October 2021, CAGD directed all public sector workers to obtain Ghana Card by December 2021 or risk not being paid salaries.

According to the Department, this move forms part of ongoing measures to harmonise its systems and synchronize its financial remuneration process through the card.

This policy is expected to ensure a speedy administration of the payroll.

Worker unions protested the directive forcing CAGD to withdraw it.

CAGD then transferred the names of public sector workers in their existing database onto the NIA database.

In 2022, a biometric audit conducted by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), in collaboration with the NIA, revealed that of the 601,000 public sector workers in the country, the data of 148,060 does not match any data held by the NIA.

The audit also unraveled 533 workers who had multiple identities. 

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