The National Identification Authority (NIA) is to begin the registration of Ghanaians below age 15 starting 2023.
Acting Head of Corporate Affairs at the NIA, Abudu Abdul Ganiyu, made this revelation on Prime Morning Monday.
According to him, individuals above 15 form the bulk of the population that transact business and will need the Ghana card, hence the move to defer the registration of persons below 15 to next year.
The move follows the decision by the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation to extend the SIM card registration exercise to September 31, 2022 to allow more Ghanaians to acquire the Ghana card which is the only document required.
The Authority said it is yet to distribute over 800,000 printed cards which is also contributing to the majority of people not being able to register their SIM cards.
Mr Ganiyu believes delaying the registration of persons below 15 will free them to serve the bulk majority of individuals who need the card the most.
“The reason for 15 years and above is certainly that they’re the ones who would normally transact with an ID card. For instance, whether it’s about a bank account, it’s about pension, it’s about SIM card registration…to that extent, NIA has been able to register about 90% of persons within this age bracket.
“Over the course of the year or early next year, we will start registering Ghanaians who are below the age of 15,” he added.
Mr Ganiyu also assured that the NIA will continue to register individuals as the institution has created 292 permanent regional and district offices across the country to enable the majority of Ghanaians to register for the Ghana card.
“NIA is a state institution that is mandated by law to set up permanent regional and district offices that make provision for Ghanaians to register continuously, and for us to continue to render what we call Identity Management Services. NIA registration doesn’t have a deadline,” he said.
Also on the show, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ken Ashigbey, entreated Ghanaians without the Ghana card to cease the extended window to get their SIM cards registered and avoid losing them.
“…I am just hopeful that Ghanaians will take advantage of this last window that has been given, those who do not have Ghana cards, go apply for the Ghana card, and I know the NIA themselves are working to ensure that they can make sure that there are cards in all the District offices and the regional offices that they’ve opened, so that a lot more people could get their Ghana card, and people should then make sure that they get to the agents and get registered,” Mr Ashigbey indicated.
He also added that, “we cannot expect that at a certain time, every Ghanaian would have registered for the Ghana card.”