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Minister Lifts Ban on Local Title Names

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Following a media publication and its aftermath concern raised by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu on the floor of Parliament on a decision by the Births and Death Registry that banned the registration of indigenous names such as Nana, Nene, Papa, Nii, Maame, Togbui, among others, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama has directed the Registry to reverse the decision with immediate effect.

According to the Minister, the Registry did no wrong for the ban because it was based on an existing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which was just being enforced.

She said however that, since governance is about people, the Minister took the concerns raised by the public into account and directed for the reversal of the decision.

Presenting a statement on the floor of Parliament in response to a summon by the House, the Minister explained that section 40 (1) of the Births and Deaths Act, Act 301, 1965 provides that the Minister by Legislative Instrument (LI) make regulations to make the act effective.

Provisions of LI 653, 1970 which was developed as a result of the Act drew up the SOP as guidelines for staff and field workers of the registry to work with.

The Minister told Parliament that section 3.3 of the current SOP which in operation since 2009 states that ‘’ Titles should not be added to the names examples’ Reverend, Alhaji, Dr., Colonel, Nana, Jnr, Snr among others.

The Minister who is also Member of Parliament for Nalerigu/ Gambaga said the Registrar has accordingly been asked to review the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the registry to ensure that local title names will be recognised and registered.

“Considering that the SOP, first, as an operational guideline for the registration of Births and Deaths, coupled with the sentiments expressed by the public, the acting Registrar of Births and Deaths Registry has been directed to review the SOP and further directed that names such as Nana, Nii, Paapa and so on as given by the parents should be accepted for registration’’.

The Registry should be concerned with official titles such as Reverend, Doctor, Mr, Mrs, Honourable and so on”.

Second Deputy Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin in contribution urged that society should not see names just as titles.

He called for the redevelopment of the birth and deaths registration forms to respond to current requirements.

The veteran Nadoli/Kaleo lawmaker encouraged society especially Christiandom to help maintain the Ghanaian tradition identity with local names saying “it will not take anything out of your spirituality”.

By: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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