Whereas Ghana’s national ID card project known as GhanaCard is being touted to begin this January 2018, after missing two takeoff dates, investigations on Nigeria’s national ID scheme which took off since last administration and still crawling now show that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is set to complete registrations for National Identity Number (NIN) this year.
Though access to NIN does not translate to ownership of national ID card as supposed, the Commission is upbeat that first step to access to the card remains NIN.
Issues surrounding less emphasis on the ID card itself since last year, according to findings by Business Hilights are traced to funding on one hand and lingering contractual confusion between the agency and some companies on the production of the card for some years now.
However, the Director General of NIMC, Engineer Aliyu Aziz had been on the web of resolving the crisis since taking over the mantle of leadership at the agency, funding and issues bordering on budget approval are still keys to resolving the matter.
Observers say the agency rather than wasting much time in tracking the card issues in the face of financial crisis, decided to raise emphasis on NIN which to a larger extent is seen as cheap.
In Ghana, it was discovered that the first planned takeoff of the issuance of the GhanaCard was on September 15, 2017.
However, immediately the Ghana National Identification Authority (NIA) hurriedly captured the President and issued him with the first copy of the card, the system packed up since November last year till date.
Several millions of Ghanaians who had waited to collect theirs after r. President were disappointed.
Earlier than last year and in 2009 when the scheme was to take off in Ghana, it was delayed due to belief that the country had to comply with the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) specifications. The card can be used for travel within the sub-region.
However, Ghana had since 2009, spent about $50 million on the project, but the cards that were issued after it was started were discontinued after sometime due to some factors.
There are hopes that the scheme will this year become a reality as a United States company has announced that the country will start issuing the cards this January 2018.
Business Hilights Ghana Bureau Chief gathered that the Minneapolis based company, Entrust Datacard hinted in a press release issued January 4, 2018 that its technology will be used by the government of Ghana — through a partnership with Identity Management Systems (IMS), a subsidiary of Margins Group — to instantly issue national identity cards to Ghanaians both home and abroad to deepen ongoing digitization processes in the country.
The statement said in parts: “In line with the directive from the Government of Ghana to roll out the National Identification System (NIS), the National Identification Authority (NIA) will be responsible for ID card registration and instant issuance across Ghana. The new “GhanaCard” meets all international requirements for identity documents, such as chip-embedded technology and biometric capabilities. This is the first nationwide instant issuance of eIDs in West Africa and the system will be deployed to 16 million citizens beginning in January 2018”.