The National Identification Authority (NIA) says about 800,000 Ghana cards are yet to be picked up by the owners from NIA’s regional and district offices across the country.
According to the NIA the non-collection of printed cards is creating storage challenges for them.
“Our immediate challenge has to do with cards that have been printed and simply waiting for applicants to come and pick them up. That is around 800,000 cards. These are cards that are kept at our regional and district offices. They were mostly people who registered during the mass registration, that these cards could not be printed while we were in the field,” he explained.
Speaking in an interview on Prime Morning on Monday, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the NIA, Abdul Ganiyu said his outfit should therefore not be blamed for some persons not having the Ghana card.
The Ghana card is the only requirement for the SIM card re-registration. However, many Ghanaians do not have it.
This compelled the Communication and Digitalisation Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to extend the deadline which expired on Sunday, by two more months.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said any SIM card that is unregistered by the end of September will be rendered useless.
Meanwhile, Mr Ganiyu stated that the NIA’s registration exercise does not have a deadline. He added that “we have been able to create 292 permanent regional and district offices and that should give the opportunity to anyone who is interested in registering for the Ghana card to do so.”
The National Identification Authority which has the sole mandate for the issuance of the Ghana card says it has so far registered 17 million Ghanaians and expects to cover 2 million more by the end of September.
In the meantime, a policy analyst says brewing friction between the National Communication Authority (NCA) and the National Identification Authority (NIA) is to blame for the difficulties citizens are having with the SIM card re-registration process.
Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby described as tragic the seeming conflict between the two-state regulators.
According to him, if the Authorities should liaise with each other, the SIM card re-registration exercise would be easier for the populace.
“If the NCA was in sync with the NIA, there could be an arrangement where the NIA could furnish the NCA with the periodic update of those who have registered and have been issued their Ghana Card,” he said on Monday.