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NIA To Register Children On Delivery

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Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Professor Ken Ataffuah has hinted of plans to mount registration equipment with personnel at birthing centers including hospitals across the country in order to register children into the National Identity Register as they are delivered from mother’s womb.

Speaking to journalists in Parliament last Friday, the Executive Secretary acknowledged the Births and Death department as a critical stakeholder in realization for the success of the objective.

According to him a committee comprising all public institutions that issue Identity Cards (ID) such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA   ), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), National Health Insurance Authority and others to ensure the synchronization of the Nation’s ID system.

Professor Attafuah’s comments came in the wake of the passage of the National Identity Register (NIR) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 into an Act by Parliament under a certificate of urgency.

Officials of The National Identification Authority (NIA) at the meeting with The Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, had argued that…..”there is the urgent need to effect the necessary changes in the law to enable the The Authority to commence the impending nationwide registration exercise scheduled to commence in November, 2017’’.
The urgent passage of the amending Bill has thus paved the way for the introduction of the necessary Legal Instrument (Ll) to operationalize the amendments.

The purpose of the Bill was to amend some aspects of the existing National Identification Authority (NIA) Act, 2006 (Act 707) to bring the law in tune with modern trends and to also ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Country’s National Identification System (NIS).

The bill was laid in Parliament on Wednesday, 7th October, 2017 by The Minister responsible for the National Identification Authority (NIA), Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei in accordance with Article 106 of The 1992 Constitution and was subsequently withdrawn on 14th November, 2017 and re-laid under a certificate of emergency.

According to a report by the Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Bill intends to eliminate the current minimum age for registration to enable all children under Six years to be registered.

The Authority will register all children under Six years of age and give them unique identification numbers.

The unique numbers will be tied to the particulars of their mothers or that of their fathers, in absence of the mother.

The Amendment Bill has done away with the use of voters’ identity cards drivers’ licence and baptismal certificates as proof of citizenship.

It however maintains the use of birth certificates and passports and further introduced residence permits and other documents evidencing acquired citizenship.

Registrants without birth certificate or passports will require relatives toprove or vouch for their citizenship.

Chairman of the Committee and MP for Offinso South, Ben Abdallah Banda noted that the passage ofthe Bill will ensure the establishment of a comprehensive, robust and reliable National Identity System.

Source: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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