The National Identification Authority (NIA) is in the process of appointing and training staff of the National Data Centre, who would be engaged to produce the national identification cards for distribution early next year.
Taking his turn at the meet the press series in Accra on Tuesday, Dr William Ahadzie, Executive Secretary of the NIA, said the authority recognized the enthusiasm with which Ghanaians had embraced the exercise since its introduction.
"NIA looks forward to the day when public confidence in the National Register will improve to the extent that they would use it as the technological advancement that would bring about economic, social and political change," he said.
Dr Ahadzie said national identification was a regular feature of a modern state and both the developed and developing nations had adopted such a system as a means of enhancing national security by unmasking potential terrorists.
He said it has also been used as a means of recognizing and preventing illegal immigration and to provide the common platform to integrate and enhance public and private sector business activities and also facilitate the sharing of data for national development purposes.
Dr Ahadzie said the Identity (ID) cards would be issued and used as personal identification in a variety of situations, not only for accessing public services, but also for accessing credit from financial institutions, collecting parcels, purchasing automobiles and even renting videos.
This, he said, was not to replace existing ones operated by other public institutions but to complement them and aid in verification and authentication of the identification of persons enrolled by these institutions.
Dr Ahadzie said the system promised a lot of benefits to the financial sector of the country and it was positioned as a solution to internal data security designed to ensure that only authorized individuals could access sensitive data or execute transactions as well as mitigate fraud attempts that posed a threat to financial institutions.
On the mass registration exercise, he noted that the Central, Western, Eastern and Volta regions had been covered under the exercise and a total of 5,746,242 applicants were enrolled in the four regions out of an estimated population of 7,260,332, representing an average of 79 per cent.
Dr Ahadzie said the ongoing registration currently in Greater Accra Region was expected to end on February 11 and that the region has been zoned into four areas with zone two still in progress.
He said Zone three would cover areas such as Kaneshie, Korle Gonno, Dansoman, Tesano, Mataheko, Achimota while Adabraka, Kotobabi, Teshie, Burma Camp, Osu, Airport, Tudu Labone and others would make up for zone four.
According to Dr. Ahadzie, mop-up centres were being established all over the country to register people who would not be covered under the mass registration exercise and children who would later turn six.
He mentioned lack of continuous funding to complete the mass registration phase of the programme, establishment of district offices to allow decentralization of operation, cases of massive extortion, photocopying of registration forms and theft of equipment as challenges encountered by the Authority.
The mass registration date for the other regions are as follows; Ashanti, March/April 2010, Brong Ahafo, May 2010, Northern, June 2010, Upper East, July 2010 and Upper West, August 2010.
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