It’s impossible to register 2 million backlog before SIM registration deadline – NIA

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The National Identification Authority (NIA) has stated that it will not be able to issue Ghana Cards to all eligible Ghanaians with less than two weeks until the deadline for the SIM card re-registration.

Difficulties in registration for Ghana's digital ID worries lawmakers |  Biometric Update

Over two million Ghanaians have yet to register for the Card, which is the only document for registration, despite the Communications Ministry’s threats to block all unregistered SIM Cards after the September 30 deadline.

At a press conference on Friday, NIA Executive Director Ken Attafuah emphasized that the Authority’s financial and logistical systems were not built to handle such urgent mandates.

“We have the mandate to register all Ghanaians in Ghana and all Ghanaians abroad. There is no way NIA can register all Ghanaians in Ghana.

If you look at our performance record, as stern as we believe our performance is, the reality is that there are approximately two million people aged 15 and above who have not registered for the Ghana Card.
Today is the 16th of September; there is no way that NIA can register those people. It is physically, technically and fiscally impossible. What advice flows from that?

“We had said way back in March that it was impossible and it’s like expecting a maiden to make a baby every three months – so, that’s not how the law designed NIA,” he argued.

After many Ghanaians found it difficult to go through the process of having their Ghana Cards become unavailable, the SIM card re-registration exercise was postponed until September 30, 2022.

In light of the difficulties listed above and after consulting with the industry, I have very reluctantly decided to grant a conditional extension. The program will end on the anniversary of its start on September 30th, as planned, according to Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, minister of communications.

The National Communication Authority (NCA) then partially blocked SIM cards that had not been re-registered as of September 5; this decision was later overturned in response to a public outcry.

Selorm Branttie, a policy analyst, claims that blocking unregistered SIM cards after September 30 will only result in the failure of the government’s digitalization agenda. The deadline is quickly approaching.

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