As part of the strategy to eliminate ghost workers from the public sector payroll, the Controller and Account General has asked all public sector workers to enrol for the Ghanacard.
To make this possible, the National Identification has dedicated a 10-day period for the registration of only public sector workers. However, two days into the mandatory and free biometric registration of public workers without Ghanacard, patronage of the service has been completely low, in spite of the large number of public sector employees without Ghanacard.
The National Identification Authority (NIA), in fulfilment of the government’s quest to rid its payroll of ghost names, started a mandatory Ghana Card registration for all public sector workers without the card on Monday, August 28, 2023, and the limited exercise which also includes the registration of first-time applicant above 15 years, is expected to last for 10 days.
The special exercise follows a biometric audit conducted by the Controller and Accountant General Department in collaboration with the NIA last year, which revealed that out of 601,000 public sector workers screened through their Ghanacard registration, the data of about 148,060 did not match any data held by the NIA, raising serious issues of ghost-name fraud or double identities on the government payroll.
However, in spite of the huge numbers, the designated centres for the registration of public sector workers without the Ghanacard, have been deserted across the country, and officials believe many are not showing up because they are afraid of being exposed over ghost names and double identities, due to stringent measures put in place by the Controller and Accountant General Department for registration of public sector workers.
“It is quite obvious that if you are involved in ghost name scam or you have double identity, you cannot come here because you will be exposed. It is a reason they are deserting the centres,” a registration supervisor in Accra, who confirmed the low patronage said.
The registration of public sector workers forms part of an upcoming registration of first-time applicants from age 15 years and above, made possible by the supply of some 484,000 new blank cards to the NIA to enable it to fulfil its mandate.
Public sector workers are required to present a copy of their July payslips, alongside other mandatory documents, such as a birth certificate, a valid Ghanaian passport, or a certificate of citizenship, to get registered and be issued with a Ghanacard.
NIA officials and the CAGD have explained that the payslip is essential because the name on the payslip is exactly what will be used for the Ghana Card; to ensure uniformity and easy verification, and also expose ghost names and double identity on the payroll.
Public sector workers who fail to register for their Ghanacard, after this window, risk forfeiting their monthly salaries as the Ghanacard registration is a key requirement, following the revelation that ghost names on government payroll are costing the government millions of Ghana Cedis every month.