The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Prof. Ken Attafuah, has told Parliament’s Committee on Subsidiary Legislations that the government paid yesterday, February 28, 2023, an amount of GHS20 million into the accounts of the NIA’s creditors.
According to him, he has notifications that the amount has hit the Calbank account of the service providers of the NIA.
He said this means that cards that the service providers of the NIA seized because of payment delays would be released.
For his part, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who was before the House along with the NIA boss and the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson to respond to issues around the EC’s Constitutional Instrument (CI), which is linked with the issuance of Ghana Cards, said: “We have agreed to a GHc100 million facility to ensure that the 3.2 million cards are released.”
He added, “GHc80 million has been deposited, and the remaining GHc20 million will be paid by this evening [March 1, 2023].”
The EC chair, taking her turn to respond to concerns by MPs, justified why Ghana Cards should be made the sole document for ongoing re-registration of voters, a move vehemently opposed by the Minority Caucus.
She told parliament that the card would only be used as the sole source document for voter registration so as to make the voter roll cleaner and more credible.
She said: “The use of only Ghana Card will ensure and guarantee the credibility of the register and elections, prevent enrolment of minors, prevent foreigners from voting, eliminate the guarantor system which is prone to abuse.”
She then clarified: “Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the Ghana Card will not be used to vote in the 2024 elections”.
“The Ghana Card is only a requirement to register as a voter,” she explained.
Mrs Mensa noted: “Once you present your Ghana Card and successfully register as a voter, you will be issued with a voter identification card which bears the code of your region, district, electoral area and the name of your polling station; the Ghana Card does not have these features and, therefore, will not be used to vote in the 2024 general elections.”
“We do not intend to disenfranchise persons who qualify to vote”.
“It is in our interest to register them. It will be an antithesis to deny any Ghanaian the right to vote,” she pointed out.
“However”, she indicated, “We equally have the responsibility to ensure that only qualified Ghanaians are found in the voters’ register”.
“We owe this responsibility to Ghanaians, and we will work to uphold that.