Prepare to be baffled by the genius of those in charge of running this country. After six years and over Ghc 21, 000,000 of working on issuing a national identification card, the whole endeavor has been scrapped to venture on another one.
The National Identification Authority has announced that the old registration exercise for issuing national ID’s has been scrapped, and that the authority is embarking on a fresh registration exercise aimed at issuing all Ghanaians with the national id cards dubbed Ghanacards.
The new exercise is to be held under a public/private partnership (PPP), towards which end a $115 million agreement has been reached with Exxim China to fund the new project, subject to approval from Cabinet and Parliament.
So after wasting the time of countless Ghanaians, most of whom had to queue for hours to get their data registered into the system, and spending approximately Ghc 21, 621, 075 on the six year registration and partial distribution of cards exercise; we are now being told we have to return our cards and then become embroiled in another lengthy exercise.
Anyone who has had to partake in any of these public registration exercises in Accra can tell you how unpleasant an experience it can be, indeed this gives me not very fond memories of my recent experience of trying to register to join the National Service Scheme. And it’s probably not any better in other parts of the country.
For some people, particularly in the Greater Accra Region who were issued with the old card, they would have to return it and re-register. Everyone else would have to go through the entire experience again; the queuing, dealing with officials who are not trying all that hard at their job, worst of all knowing you did all this six years ago and why the hell should you have to go through that again?
All things being equal the exercise is scheduled to start on November 1. Luckily, they are planning to build on the old database, meaning people would have to only update their old information. Knowing my country though it’ll probably be nothing like that, with this being said just to soothe the public and make the old exercise not look like quite the waste of public resources that it was.
I mean what registration exercise takes over 6 years after completion and still is not able to issue the cards that were the point of the exercise? They claim they had challenges that hindered the issuance of the cards, but what is the assurance it would not be the same this time? What stops us from embarking on another national id exercise 6 years from now?
Oh, and apparently this new system would issue you the card immediately after registering. We would have to see about that, ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’
Building a national database is way overdue, and if this new exercise can lead to that it would be a step in the right direction. But then with private interests involved, what would the security involved in storing our information. Will it only be for government consumption?
You hear the phrase ‘causing financial loss to the state’ bandied about all the time. Here’s a real example for you; but like everything else in Ghana, there’s always action, never consequences.