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Ghana national service officials praise face biometrics onboarding

Ghana national service officials praise face biometrics onboarding

The facial recognition application used as part of Ghana’s National Service Scheme’s registration process has achieved its  goals, reports Business Ghana. Those goals include preventing payments from reaching people who are not actually public employees.

Deployed across multiple centers in the country to speed up the registration process and tackle fraud attempts, the solution allowed National Service personnel to validate their identity by using face biometrics alongside Ghana’s national ID card.

According to the Volta Region director of the National Service Scheme, Ambrose Entsiwah, using the technology became necessary after increased national identity theft cases were recorded on the system in 2020.

The novel facial recognition system reduces fraud by performing a three-way match between the identities provided by the user (existing national ID), university information (photo on record), and face biometric details of the person enrolled.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Entsiwah said the metric application was first tested in 2021, following ‘extensive’ training sessions for staff on the use of the biometric technologies.

“Public awareness was also created for the introduction of the metric application. This proved to be effective, so this year, we have intensified its use, and we have made progress,” he explained.

In the latest deployments, Entsiwah said, the new process allowed authorized persons from tertiary institutions to access the Scheme’s new information management system.

The move reportedly enabled the direct upload of data from those entities into the scheme’s database for processing and deployment. That enabled last year’s students from those institutions to be identified by the biometric application.

Overall, Entsiwah said, the biometric system identified 14,406 National Service personnel who were blocked by the system, saving the country about 112 million Ghanaian Cedis (US$7.7 million).

“Service personnel, who have successfully been cleared and posted, are 147, while 476 service personnel have also had their registration verified and are awaiting posting,” Entsiwah confirmed.

“In all, 382 of the number have been accepted by user agencies and approved by the regions, while only three service personnel have so far been rejected by user agencies.”

The figures come days after Ghana’s minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu, highlighted a noticeable drop in SIM card-related fraud in the country since the process to register SIM cards with biometrics began.

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