Deep throat sources within the National Identification Authority (NIA) say the planned mass distribution of printed Identity cards will be done without verification.
The sources disclose contrary to procedural requirements before cards are finally issued, the Authority is trying to use photo albums to do the distribution without biometrically verifying them.
NIA is reported to have already gone ahead to alter its system to verify all cards printed manually, which is unacceptable and compromises the database.
They explain that for NIA to alter the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and Card Personalization system to manually verify 3,875,441 applicants at 5,635 registration centers nationwide.
According to sources the NIA Chief Executive, Professor Ken Attafuah is under intense pressure to create conditions to justify enough cards distributed to be used as a primary document for the upcoming new register as captured under Electoral Commission’s C.I 126 currently before Parliament.
“Now that they are trying to use photo albums to do the distribution without been biometrically verified means, cards can be mistakenly issued to wrong people and defective cards can also be issued which makes the card useless,” the source lamented.
They explained that the NIA has no clear deadlines in it’s registration and distribution of cards and have been wondering why the Authority should rush to distribute cards without biometrically verifying them, a case that could cause serious problems and financial loss to the state should many become defective during the printing process.
The concerned staff describe the compromises as unprofessional and unacceptable because the system was designed to mandatory verify all applicants before issuance of cards.
“Now what this means if that cards can be mistakenly issued to wrong people, defective cards can also be issued which makes the card useless because they can’t be used in future for any verification purpose,”they explained.
The NIA was expected to begin the mass distribution of the Ghana Cards on Monday, June 8, 2020 following protests that EC’s decision to limit eligibility requirement for the new voter register to the national ID cards and passports will disenfranchise millions who are yet to receive their cards or registered.
The NIA which cited delays in distributions of PPE to the over 5,000 collection centers explained in a statement that the card issuance blitz, will enable 11,062,850 Ghanaians to possess Ghana Cards in good time to be used for vouching for their relatives or other Ghanaians who wish to register during the nationwide mop-up registration exercise commencing on 18th June 2020 and ending in mid-September 2020.
Critics say it is virtually impossible for the NIA to capture about 10million more eligible voters on its database. They argue, that the over 11,062,850 Ghanaians NIA claims it has registered include those between 15 and 17years who cannot vote. The Electoral Commission at its last briefing after an IPAC meeting to announce tentative dates for the compilation of its new register projected to capture about 16.5 million voters.
There are already concerns about the practicability of timelines because of strict COVID-19 prevention protocols to be adhered to, the difficulty in running NIA registration and EC exercise concurrently in the midst of the rainy season.
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