Ghana starts follow-up nationwide biometric ID card enrollment drive
The National Identification Authority of Ghana (NIA) has begun a new phase of a registration campaign for the country’s national digital ID, Ghana Card.
The exercise, which went underway at the start of this week, targets eligible Ghanaians (15 years and above) who have never enrolled their biometrics for the card, according to an NIA statement, Ghanaian Times reports.
Officials of the NIA say the enrollment is taking place in all its 276 district offices, while the same services are also available at selected regional offices which do not operate as “premium centers.”
While the Ghana Card enrollment is free for first-time applicants, those seeking to replace their lost or damaged cards or to update their personal information, are required to pay a fee of 34.50 Ghanaian cedis (US$3).
As the general enrollment for first-time Ghana Card applicants unfolds, the NIA says it has also commenced its Household and Institutional Registration services, which requires payment. This part of the registration targets households with at least five occupants eligible for the digital ID, as well as institutions with 50 or more staff.
The household registration requires a payment of 150 Ghanaian cedis ($13) per head, while 100 cedis ($9) is paid per person for institutions.
The nationwide registration for the Ghana Card comes days after the NIA launched a special ten-day enrollment drive for government workers, scheduled for August 28 to September 8. The exercise has however been plagued by a low turnout, which has partly been blamed on the fear of illegal salary earners being exposed.
Travel status explained by CEO
In the meantime, the company producing the Ghana Card, Margins ID Group, says the digital ID has been designed with the feature of an e-passport which can be used for international travel.
In a report, TechFocus24 quotes the company’s CEO, Moses Baiden, as saying that the card has an electronic chip which contains the biodata of the holder as is the case with biometric passports.
One of the three identity profiles the card stores therefore meets the international standard for biometric passports. The other two profiles are for e-ID and match-on-card applications.
“The biographic and biometric data contained in the electronic chip on the Ghana Card can therefore be compared to both the traveller and the travel document (paper passport) being presented respectively,” said Baiden, adding that the card meets the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for travel documents.
He also noted that the Ghana Card, which has become mandatory for many transactions, is a trustworthy ID credential which is used as the single source of truth for identity proofing.
The Ghana Card has already been used by thousands of Ghanaians as a travel document on trips home. As an ICAO-compliant document, foreign governments can also change their policies to accept it as an alternative to a biometric passport.
A voter registration campaign will also take place from September 12 to October 2.