The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it will from Wednesday begin the distribution of 541,529 National Identity Cards (Ghana Card) to applicants who applied since July 2022 but are yet to receive them.
This follows the completion of the expedited printing of backlog of cards, according to a statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Division of the NIA in Accra on Wednesday.
The exercise which started on March 18 to 27, was made possible by the release of GH¢100 million from the government to CalBank PLC to clear some debts for the release of blank cards for printing.
It said the printed cards, which were being packaged, would be distributed to NIA’s Regional and District Offices nationwide from today for issuance to registered applicants.
“The NIA stands committed to serving the public and the nation as a whole with respect, dignity, integrity and efficiency as a dedicated and responsible public sector institution,” it said.
The statement thanked the NIA stakeholders and staff who worked tirelessly on the printing.
The NIA has been at the centre of criticism from the public for weeks now due to their inability to print and issue cards to applicants who had been queuing at various centres.
The Executive Secretary of the Authority, Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, was dragged to parliament to explain the delay in printing the cards, following which the Ministry of Finance released money for the blank cards.
Launched in 2017, after a number of failed attempts, the card is a biometric national identification being issued by the NIA to both resident and non-resident Ghanaians and permanently resident foreign nationals as proof of identity, citizenship and residence.
The card and the phased registration exercise is governed by NIA Act, 2006 (Act 707) that gives the Authority the legal impetus and the National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) that authorises it to collect personal and biometric data.
More than 16 million Ghanaians have so far registered for the Ghana card, representing 85 per cent of Ghana’s adult population.
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.