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Issuance of National Identity Cards Begins July 4   
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The National Identification Authority (NIA) has announced that effective July 4 the Authority will begin issuing the “Ghanacard”in the Greater Accra Region, following the mass registration exercise that it undertook last year.

Briefing the press in Accra on Friday, June 24, the Executive Secretary of the NIA, Dr. William Ahadzie, said the issuance will be done zonally with the Ablekuma North Sub-Metro beginning the first phase from July 4 to July 10.

It will be followed by the Ablekuma South Sub-Metro on July 13, 2011 ending July 19; followed by Ablekuma North Sub-Metro from July 22 to July 28 until all the nine sub-Metros are covered, completing phase-one of the distribution exercise.

Phase-two continues on September 23 in the Dangme East/Dangme West Sub-Metro to September 29, followed by Tema East and West Sub-Metro respectively.

Prior to the mass distribution exercise about to commence, the Authority commenced a limited distribution exercise to institutions that had their staff registered by the Authority during the mass registration exercise last year.

Dr. Ahadzie explained that these cards are not ordinary cards, but a national registration document incorporated with security devices to avoid easy duplication. He explained that a year has elapsed since the mass registration exercise commenced, saying the long break was due to both technical and financial reasons.

He acknowledged that the Authority gave various dates as to the issuance of the cards following mass registration, but owing to the aforementioned reasons they had to do some house-clearing. He noted that this time the process of collection has been simplified and could take as little as two minutes to complete.

He said the cards will be issued to persons 15 years and above, and will be issued only to the bearer. The existing centre will be the issuing-centres unless otherwise publicly broadcasted. He maintained that the issuing of cards is free but special services requested by specific institutions like delivery of the Ghanacard -- will attract a minimal fee to cover costs. Dr. Ahadzie indicated that a card may be declared invalid for a number of reasons, such as inappropriate information given during the mass registration process, as well as damaged, stolen and destroyed cards.

He stated that correction of data will be allowed, but a written submission has to be made to that effect. Currently, a limited registration exercise is on-going in the Brong Ahafo Region with a skeleton staff of 25 persons who were contracted earlier to continue the registration exercise but this was misconstrued to mean the Authority had laid-off some workers.

He said the Authority will move to the Brong Ahafo region next month to undertake the mass registration exercise and will be followed by the Northern Region in August, then the upper East and West Regions on a limited scale until they receive their full complement of resources.

Dr. Ahadzie said the card, which identifies the biometric features of the individual, can be used by the individual for the verification and authentication of identity in passport acquisition, drivers’ licence, receipt of banking services, registration of business and a host of other services like SIM card registration, pension claims and others.

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