NDPC advocates comprehensive national identification system
Dr Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, has expressed the need for the country to have a comprehensive national identification system.
This, he explained, would help with crime prevention, assist in the delivery of public services to targeted populations, create a credible voters register, and provide up-to-date data that would facilitate the nation’s development agenda and aid with increased revenue collection.
He made the call at a stakeholder’s consultation on integrated national identification system for the long term national development plan.
The forum brought together state agencies including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, Ghana Police Service, the National Household Registry Electoral Commission, Birth and Death Registry, Ghana Immigration Service among others to deliberate on the need for an integrated national identification system.
He said a well-establish national identification system is one of the catalyst initiatives required for the successful implementation of the plan, which aims to transform the country from a lower middle-income to a higher-income country from 2018 to 2057.
Dr Botchwey said efforts to develop a comprehensive system since 2003 have proven futile with many uncompleted initiatives.
He said it is imperative for stakeholders to understand the causes of the undue delay in integrating the national identification system.
He said the country’s population has grown after independence but there is no proper record of the more than 27 million Ghanaians and expatriates living in the country, which has resulted in the poor delivery of social services and inefficiency in planning and implementation.
Dr Botchwey said the inability to integrate a national identification system has resulted in a lot of unnecessary expenditure on the country’s budget due to the fact that different statutory agencies are spending huge sums to capture their own data and provide IDs for their sector’s specific activities.
He said every Ghanaian walking today carries many ID cards in his pocket.
He said there is the need for one to have one card that covers every transaction.
Dr Botchwey said the National Identification Authority (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.
The passing of the NIA 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.
He said the full mandate of the NIA included the establishment of a national data centre so as to manage a national database, as well as to set up a system to collect, process, store, retrieve and disseminate personal data on the population.
The consultation would propose a realistic and monitoring actions and timelines to have a modern and comprehensive national identification by 2018.