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Attafuah 'schooled' as IMANI Africa hits back at NIA over Ghana Card artwork saga

Bright Simons and Prof Ken Attafuah

Thu, 18 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

IMANI Centre for Policy and Education has responded to the National Identification Authority, NIA, statement on a social media post by Bright Simons, an Honorary Vice President of the policy think tank.

According to IMANI, the purported response from Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, who is the Ag. Head, Corporate Affairs, NIA, does not deny the actual facts contained in the Simons’ post.

Simons on August 12, tweeted, “how many are even aware that until recently the Ghana Card brand design itself was not even owned by Ghana? That it was owned by a French company & the country had to pay to get it? When Civil Society scrutinises your govt, be grateful. There's a war for the soul of your country."

This, triggered a response from Dr. Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, Ag. Head, Corporate Affairs, who in a statement dated August 17, 2022, said, “the post should be regarded as a mix of half-truth, insinuation, self-praise and alarmism."

The release which is available to GhanaWeb, further pointed out that “the controversy over the Ghana Card artwork, generated by the said post, is wholly needless and distractive.”

The Authority added that it is wrong and ignorant on the part of Bright Simons "to suggest that the historic retention of the artwork (brand design) by a French company has any significance.

"NIA wholly welcomes well-considered comments derived from full-fledged and proper scrutiny that advances good governance, transparency and/or accountability."

In a 6-paged reply, IMANI said, it looks as if the Bright Simons’ tweet only provided a premise for Professor Ken Agyeman Attafuah to launch an attack he must have been relishing for a while on their Vice President.

The statement indicated that NIA in their statement never denied the content of Bright Simons's tweet.

“It confirmed these facts and then proceeded to add a padding of completely self-serving commentary that did nothing more than reconfirm the suspicions of crass incompetence that have dogged the NIA for years, especially in Professor Attafuah’s tenure,” the statement dated August 17 read.

In examining the layers added by the NIA to Simon’s tweet, IMANI’s statement said, “Ghana signed a contract with a French company to roll out Ghana Card services in 2008. Ghana paid the company for these services. At all material moments, this company was a contractor working for Ghana.

“Yet until 2017, the company was holding on to the design rights of the Ghana Card and only released it after Ghana paid good money for what should have been hers from day one. The specific amount has never been disclosed in any Ghanaian audit. Our enquiries suggest that it was hefty.

“Let us repeat for emphasis: for more than five years after Ghana had passed various measures, and eventually a law in 2012, forcing every act of citizenship in Ghana to be expressible only through the Ghana Card, the design rights of this vaunted instrument were actually in the hands of a foreign company. If it had no claim to it, we wouldn’t have had to pay money to secure the rights. The fact that we had to pay them off means that it could have refused our terms and held us hostage. We should all allow that to sink in, slowly.

“We understand that Professor Attafuah is a trained lawyer. Unlike him and his colleagues at NIA, we understand basic courtesy. So, we won’t presume to teach him basic contract and intellectual property law in the same manner that he deigned to teach our colleague policy analysis. But we will point out a few critical matters for the sake of the general public,” the statement added.


Find below the full statement from IMANI.

Find below NIA's 8-paragraph explanation about the Ghana Card artwork.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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