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Over 200 contract staff at the National Identification Authority (NIA), the agency responsible for the registering of Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians in the country, are reeling over the management’s decision to pay their salaries over the counter, while laying others off, with nothing to go home with, after years of working for the Authority.

The temporal works, who have been engaged by the NIA over the past six years said, they have been receiving their monthly salaries on tables, instead of paying into their bank accounts, especially when the central bank is advocating for a cashless society.

The workers, who are scattered across the ten regions are made up of drivers, financial assistants, verification officers and authentication officers.

They were engaged in 2008, and have over the years, had their salaries paid them in person by the authorities with its attendant corruption.

Meanwhile, tension is brewing at NIA, following the decision to lay off some of the temporal workers. They were told they would be laid off at a durbar held on May 23, 2014, but will be given nothing by way of severance package.

At the durbar, the contract staff were verbally informed of management’s decision to lay them off with the excuse that the office was cash-strap and could not longer honour their monthly salaries.

Indeed, since January 2014, nothing has been paid in terms of severance and salaries to the dismissed staff of the authority.

A memo in the possession of The Herald, emanating from the leadership of the contract staff dated May 27, 2014 and copied to the Acting Executive Secretary, Dr. Josiah Cobbah reads.

“As contract/casual staff, we aware of some of the challenges NIA is going through at this critical time. We wish to sacrifice and work for the organization during the period of June at no cost, till July when the said instant issuance of the Ghana card will kick-off for the betterment of the organization”.

The document was copied to the Head of Organizational Development, Mr. Prince Peprah, Head of Administration, Legal and Compliance, Mr. Joseph Iroko, Head of Operations, Mr. Francis Denteh and Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Bertha Dzeble.

The Herald is informed that even though the Bank of Ghana (BoG), has issued directives against pricing goods and services in Dollars, the authority prices it registration of foreign nationals in Dollars, and has made lots of money from the exercise.

Meanwhile, the workers are raising doubt about the lamentations of “no cash”, especially when new registration of foreigners attract one hundred Dollars, with a regular renewal of sixty Dollars.

When reached, the Corporate Affairs Manager of NIA, Bertha Dzeble, told The Herald that she had no permission from her boss, Mr. Cobbah to comment on the issue concerning contract staff.

This was after The Herald, had visited the NIA Headquarters near the Tetteh Quashie Roundabout on many occasions, including waiting for several hours to speak her on the decision to lay of the contract staff, who had worked with the authority for six years.

More to come
Source: The Herald

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