MPs Get Ghana Card …As Minority Stage Boycott
Some Members of Parliament (MPs) were yesterday issued with their Ghana Card by the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Although the Minority had declared a boycott of the process, some MPs, mostly New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs and officials of Parliament were seen going through the process.
The aggrieved minority had raised a number of concerns about the whole process including the requirement for one to be registered.
The registration which was to begin on Monday, did not come off because officials of the NIA did not show up for the exercise.
On Tuesday morning however, Officials of NIA had set sail to begin the process in Parliament―one of the key public institutions selected for early registration.
It was however disappointing to note that MPs who had began the exercise at about 10:00am did not receive their Ghana Cards till after 12:00 in the afternoon.
Some MPs and staff of Parliament had complained about the delay in process but were hopeful that it would improve as the days go by.
Members, especially those on the Majority side were elated to have gotten the chance to have the card. They were certain it would enhance effective governance.
Speaking to the PUBLISHER in an exclusive interview, MP for Okaikoi Central, Patrick Boamah indicated that it was good to have the card.
According to him, the registration was not only for Ghanaians, but also for foreign citizens resident living in Ghana―including refugees.
Mr. Boamah said the card would help to know the people present in Ghana and their caliber.
“This will help reduce crime such as armed robbery, fraud and the likes and will help formalize the economy consequently,” he added
Accusing the Minority of double standard, the MP said, almost all the Members that matter on the side of Minority backed the exercise during the debate in the House.
He recounted that Inusah Fuseini, Sadique Boniface and Armah Kofi Buah had no problem with the related amendment.
Some Minority members were hopeful that since the introduction of the Card was successful in other advanced economies, Ghana would pool in its benefits too.
Mr Sampson Ahi, Member for Sefwi Bodi and a Member of the Privileges Committee of Parliament had however raised issues on the cost of the project.
He said that whilst some government officials had quoted $1.3b and $1.2b in some cases, the NIA had said $300m was the cost of the project.
This he said, had brought about some confusion, thus they (Minority) are waiting for the actual cost of the project before they participate.
Some issues raised by the Minority that led to the boycott include the possibility of citizens not having their Birth Certificates which may unfairly excluded them from the exercise.
Ebenezer Kojo Kum, Member for Ahanta West said the law that requires the two forms of identification to be used as requirement was agreed and passed in Parliament, so he did not understand why the Minority were using that to stall the process.
He further stated that, the NIA are spending within the limits of funds approved to them by the House. Therefore, said attempts to raise issues with cost is baseless.
Members took turns to register and get their cards and called on Ghanaians to support the exercise and come out in numbers to register.
By: Frederick E. Aggrey