Millions to be registered under new Ghanacard initiative

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has announced registering and issuing smart cards to fifteen million Ghanaians by November 2015 under its new national identification initiative.The multi-functional Smart Identity card comes with a 120k memory size which would be segmented and issued to various institutions to run their application.
Under the new initiative, new traits such as face and iris would be verified to enhance security and integrity to avoid identification theft unlike the previous programme that relied on fingerprints.
This means people with poor or no fingerprints could successfully undergo identification and verification.
“This is to harmonize all existing biometric databases at one central point which would be easily accessible to the institutions that needed it”, noted Osei Kwame Griffith, Head, Technology and Biometrics at the NIA in an interaction with journalists yesterday.
The initiative is a partnership project between the NIA and the Identification Management System (IMS) Limited under a Public Private Partnership.
The nationwide exercise expected to begin by November 1, 2014, is an expansion of the pilot project which was targeted at non Ghanaian residents in the country.
So far, a total of 42,000 non Ghanaian residents have been registered and issued with smart cards under the new NIA identification initiative.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NIA, Dr. Josiah Alfred Mills Cobbah, commenting on the project said the exercise has become necessary due to technological advancement over the last couple of years.
“Technology changes rapidly and that is the case with identity management system. The NIA must adapt to the ever changing international trend to conform to international standards and that is what we are seeking to do to achieve our statutory mandate”, noted Dr. Cobbah.
The new smartcard christened ‘Ghanacard’, according to the NIA boss, would replace the old ones that were issued two years ago after its expiration date.
Under the new initiative valued at US$115million, the IMS would register Ghanaians at no cost and issue them an instant smart ID card.
The private firm is expected to recoup its investment from institutions that would want to use the data gathered by the partnering companies (NIA and IMS) which is backed by L.I. 2191 of the Fees and Charges Amendment Instrument, 2012.
As part of the project, regional and zonal offices coupled with a disaster recovery center outside the headquarters of the NIA would be built.
Part of the investment sum would also be used to buy mobile registration vans as well as establish a biometric institute which would be affiliated to a public university

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  1. Nana Boampong Wireko
    Oct 10, 2014 - 02:52 AM

    i was in Accra for a family visit in early May, I submitted my US Driver’s License which is also a photo ID Card in one of my Western Union Transactions, surprisingly, my Card was rejected because the authorities did not have the technology to read my Card. What can the NIA do differently to provide better service?


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