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SIM card re-registration is about identity – NIA justifies use of Ghana Card

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has defended the rationale behind the use of only the Ghana Card for the ongoing SIM card re-registration.

The Authority has justified that since more than 50 per cent of Ghanaians are holders of the Ghana Card, it is only appropriate to use it for the re-registration process.

Head of Corporate Affairs at the National Identification Authority, Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, told Benjamin Akakpo on Prime Morning that “relying on an identity card basically is what you need especially if you’ve been able to build such a comprehensive database.”

“The LI 211 of the National Identification register, 2012 has outlined 14 mandatory uses of the Ghana Card that for all such services, it is the Ghana Card that shall be demanded; so until that law is amended, NIA can only work with what the Law says, NIA cannot violate that.”

“We need to establish what the purpose of a passport is. A passport must prove one’s citizenship and should be able to facilitate travel across borders.

“Now, the purpose of the National Identification Card is to prove your identity, so the two may be similar, but they are not the same,” he explained.

Abdul-Ganiyu said the NIA is still in the process of transition and has registered about 85 per cent of the Ghanaian adult population to facilitate the ongoing re-registration exercise.

“Looking at what the objective of SIM card registration is all about, I can say authoritatively that you do not need a passport at this point, especially when you have such a comprehensive database in place and you have a majority of the people having their identity cards.”

“So eventually, you’d have almost every Ghanaian having the Ghana Card. If every Ghanaian has the Ghana Card, what will be the essence of introducing a passport also as a requirement for SIM card re-registration?” he quizzed.

Possible extension of SIM card re-registration deadline

Mr Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, however, hinted that there might be an extension of the SIM card re-registration deadline.

According to him, “in the event that we [NIA] are not able to finish all the necessary technical processes, there will be an extension.”

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