Ghana’s pensions agency harmonizing biometric data to save cost

Ghana’s pensions agency harmonizing biometric data to save cost

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) – a government agency in Ghana charged with managing the national pensions scheme — says it will save millions of U.S. dollars in the cost of printing biometric cards for its users by integrating its data into the database of the National Identification Agency (NIA), GhanaWeb reports.

What this means is that the SSNIT data will be integrated into the NIA number of the user and will simplify the process of verifying and authenticating the user’s identity, the outlet explains.

SSNIT Director General Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang is quoted as saying that when the agency operated its own database, it would spend about $US7 to print one biometric card. The move is now estimated to help the SSNIT save around $US17 million from that cost.

With the database merger, the institution will now spend just about Ghs three million (about $US507,000) to enroll 30 million users onto the NIA’s database. The merging process started off on June 28 and it expected to run till December 31, according to GhanaWeb, which cites Ofori-Tenkorang as saying the data of over 510,000 accounts have already been integrated into the NIA database.

Enumerating the benefits of the biometric data integration, the SSNIT boss said among other things, it will ensure rapid treatment of pension-related files, help in business and banking transactions, registration of land titles and SIM cards, seamless access to certain social services, as well as the expansion of SSNIT offers and the fight against fraud.

The SSNIT data integration with the NIA comes at a time when the latter is moving ahead with its campaign for citizens to collect their Ghana Cards.

NIA Executive Secretary Professor Kenneth Agyemang-Attafuah says of the more than 15 million cards already printed, 13.9 million have already been handed to their owners, while those who are yet to pick up the cards have been urged to show up at the districts where they registered for the cards to get hold of them. The NIA had once hoped to issue 27 million Ghana Cards by 2018.

The government has previously suggested that the Ghana Card could replace the country’s voter ID.

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