Prez. Akufo-Addo gets national ID card today

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-But mass registration commences next month when digital address system is ready

The National Identification Authority (NIA) will today issue the first new National Identity (ID) card, known as Ghanacard, to President Nana Akufo-Addo to signify its readiness for mass registration to compile a credible register of all Ghanaians.

This symbolic event will officially pave way for the rolling out of the mass registration exercise for the new identification process.
However, the mass registration of Ghanaians is expected to begin in November since that is the time Ghana’s National Address System is slated to be ready.
National Address System
This is because the National Address System is a critical input in the gathering of data for the National ID exercise.
The National Address System indicates where the individual resides while National ID reveals who the individual is.
Dual interface smartcard for 15 years and above 
Ghanaians 15 years and above will be issued dual interface smartcard. 
2D barcode cards for 14 years and below
On the other hand, 2D barcode cards will be issued to persons aged one day to 14 years.
Instant issuance system
The new National ID card project is an instant issuance system in place with reliable inter-connectivity that significantly reduces the cost and challenges associated with card distribution.
Tactile feature 
The new Ghanacard has been designed to assist compatriots with visual challenges to be able to use it, using a tactile feature on the card.
Executive Secretary of the NIA, Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah told journalists in Accra that the authority is prepared to embark on the exercise projected to digitise and formalise Ghana’s economy.
“The National Identification Authority is ready to provide Ghanaians with a modern robust national identification system and a smart ID card that will meet the modern aspirations of the people of Ghana and carry us into the future,” he said.
14 International security features 
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Margins Group, Moses Baiden described the new card as the most secured identification card with about 14 international security features.
Multi-purpose function 
He explained that the card has a multi-purpose function.
ID Card can be used in passport across ECOWAS
According to him, another new feature of the card is the passport and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) logos on it, which allows for it to be used in place of a passport across ECOWAS member countries.
ID card to be linked to one’s bank account 
Baiden explained that one of the functions of the new card is that apart from it being a national identification card, it would also be linked to one’s bank account, to enhance modern payment systems.
ID card to last 10 years 
The new ID card is expected to have a lifespan of 10 years, after which it will be renewable at a fee to be determined by the authority.
First beneficiaries 
The NIA has explained the exercise will start with the security agencies, schools, banks and the population in the Greater Accra Region.
The next stop of the registration van will be areas in the Central, Western and Brong Ahafo regions. 
The rest of the regions will later follow.
Ghanaians abroad to be registered
Ghanaians resident in other countries have not been left out of the registration process. 
An opportunity will be given to them to register for the card at a fee wherever they are.
Fixed registration centres
For each region, fixed registration centres would be gazetted and advertised to the general public.
Registration is free but mobile vans cost a fee
Even though the registration is free, institutions with large populations can request for the services of mobile vans to register them at their offices at a fee.
NIA/IMS partnership
The new identification system is the outcome of a private-public partnership with Identity Management System, a subsidiary of Margins Group, tasked to make the new ID cards.
All agencies to use the data 
The NIA said the system is designed to facilitate data sharing among user agencies, and the smartcard has a total memory capacity of 148k. 
When functional, state agencies such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Free Education and Youth Employment programmes, Passport Office, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will all depend on the reliable register to deliver effectively on their mandate by making it difficult for people to provide false information.
Halt false information 
A credible register of all Ghanaians would serve as the singular reference source for all government offices and programmes, to prevent people from providing false information.
What you need to know about IMS
IMS is a Special Purpose Vehicle set up to register both foreigners living in Ghana and citizens of Ghana. It is part of the Margins Group of Companies, which includes Intelligent Card Production Service, an ISO-certified full service card manufacturing facility from card fabrication to fulfillment.
The smartcards for the project will be produced by ICPS here in Ghana, to produce employment for Ghanaians. 
ICPS offers an ultra-modern factory and capacity and the expanded AFIS and central site of NIA, which has been developed jointly with Dermalog of Germany, a leader in biometric, together with IDFG of Denmark.
The central site has the capacity to store 400 million fingerprints, 80 million faces and 80 million irises, and it is the most advanced biometric system in the country to date.
The system is designed to store all the current NIA data, enabling nationals to update their already collected data in the first registration or submit new data if not registered, to achieve NIA’s mandate to be the primary referential database connecting the alphanumeric data and biometrics of all nationals to a unique NIA pin number from cradle to grave to be used by all stakeholders.
The cards will be issued instantly under a public-private partnership (PPP) between IMS and the National Identification Authority (NIA).
What you need to know about NIA 
The NIA was set up in 2003 under the Office of the President with the mandate to issue National ID cards and manage the National Identification System (NIS).
This resulted in the passing of the National Identification Authority Act, 2006 (Act 707) to give it the necessary legal premises on which to operate.
The National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) was also passed to give authorisation for collection of personal and biometric data and to ensure the protection of privacy and personal information of enrolees.
The national identification exercise, which started in 2008, experienced some interruptions and came to a halt in 2014. 
The NIA is mandated to establish and manage a national database, set up a system to collect, process, store, retrieve and disseminate personal data on the population (Ghanaian citizens – both resident and non-resident, and legally and permanently resident foreign nationals), ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of such data, and to issue and promote the use of national identity cards in Ghana. 
It is also to make data in its custody available to persons or institutions authorised by law to access the data.
The NIA seeks to facilitate the integration of all public sector/civil operation, law enforcement, corporate and business applications/systems to the National Identification System, and the provision of general identification services.
The setting up of the National Identification System is in response to providing up-to-date data that will facilitate the nation’s development agenda.

By Elvis DARKO, Accra

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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