The first day of the 10-day window granted public sector workers without Ghana Card to register for the card has attracted very low and disappointing patronage.
As is typical of deadlines associated with Ghana card registration, people may wait until the last minute to show up for registration resulting in long queues.
The exercise which is in two phases is meant for First-Time Applicants who are 15 years and above and Public Sector Workers.
However, the NIA in commencing the exercise decided to start with the Public Sector Workers, who from our visit to the District and Regional Centres have shown very little interest in the registration.
The exercise will last for 10 working days, starting from August 28 to September 8, 2023.
Prospective applicants are required to provide their July 2023 Pay slips in addition to meeting the mandatory registration requirements.
No Ghana Cards, no pay CAGD directive in 2021
In October 2021, Controller and Accountant General’s Department (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 was expected to ensure a speedy administration of the payroll.
Worker unions protested the directive forcing CAGD to withdraw it.
CAGD then transfer the names of public sector workers in their existing database onto 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 of them does not match any data held by the NIA.
The audit also unraveled 533 workers who had multiple identities.
Ayawaso West – Wuogon
Upon arrival at the Ayawaso West Wuogon District Office of the NIA, the only people encountered at the premises were the NIA officials waiting on the would-be applicants to trickle in.
An official from the Office said that since morning they had had only two people walk in to register, however these were not even public servants.
The two applicants were booked for next two weeks since they are not public sector workers.
Greater Accra NIA Regional Office
At the Regional office, it was observed that NIA officials were seated waiting for would-be applicants to also trickle in.
Greater Accra Regional NIA Registration Officer, Mr Foster Okyere Darko said that the District Offices and Regional Offices are open for free registration.
He noted that per data received from the Statistical Service Department, they expect to print cards for about three million applicants from September 11, 2023.
He stated that reports from the 34 District Offices so far indicate that there are no challenges, but then turn out has been very low.
He added that apart from Kpone Katamanso which had reported a large number of people visiting their office, the rest of the offices have had low patronage.
“Even with Kpone Katamanso, most of them were not public workers, so they were educated on when they are to return for their registration,” he stressed.
Mr Darko indicated that everything else has been calm so far from all the reports received.
As at 3pm, he said no applicant had been registered.
He called on the public to visit their District and Municipal Offices to pick up their cards since all backlogs have been cleared.
“This will help us do away with all the old cards and have space for new cards,” he added.
The Regional Registration Officer called on Headmistresses and Headmasters to release Senior High School students from September 11 to register at District Offices closer to their schools.
The mandatory documents to be presented for registration are a genuine Birth Certificate, a valid Ghanaian Passport or a Certificate of Acquired Citizenship/ Naturalization, as may be necessary and appropriate.
In the absence of any of the mandatory documents, a prospective applicant may be vouched for by a relative or two persons who possess a Ghana Card and know the applicant to be a Ghanaian.