The National Identification Authority (NIA) mop-up exercise for the registration of the Ghana card in the Greater Accra Region recorded a slow start yesterday.
A visit to some registration centres in the capital revealed virtually empty seats with few registrants undertaking the exercise rather allowing for smooth observance of COVID-19 safety protocols.
The exercise expected to run until September 8, 2020 is to allow for citizens, 15 years and above who were unable to register in the initial phases of the exercise across the country, to do so.
The mop-up will also take place in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions from August 27 to September 11, 2020.
At the Kaneshie Anglican JHS centre in the Okaikoi South Constituency, only 22 persons had successfully registered for the card as of 3:00pm when the Ghanaian Times went there, with officials practically idle at post.
“We have very low turn-out, many people are not aware of the mop-up exercise, so we need more publicity on it,” Mr Nathaniel Plange, a registration official stated.
According to him, there was low education on processes for guaranteeing for a person without the required documentation for the card, expatiating that, “Unlike the voter registration where anyone who has the card can guarantee for another, this is an oath, therefore, it demands that the person who vouches for you must be a direct relative or you present two government officials who have the Ghana card.”
He noted: “We have had many people being turned away because the guarantors they bring are not qualified.”
The situation was similar at the Kaneshie Cripples Home where officials complained of intermittent network challenges, though it had little bearing on the exercise as registrants trickled in one after the other.
“This is the first day and it is normal to experience a low turnout. We believe in the coming days, the numbers will pick up and more people who are yet to register will come and do so,” an official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
At the Djaman Presbyterian Church centre in the Weija-Gbawe Constituency, the exercise had halted due to network challenges though officials indicated that a report had been made to authorities for redress.
Turnout, however, was quite impressive at the centre, as the supervisor, Mr Edem Kokroko, confirmed that about 50 people had registered “from about 7:30am when the exercise begun.”
The NIA has targeted 16.7 million Ghanaians to register for the Ghana Card, but at the end of its mass registration exercise, it was yet to achieve its target of registering 80 per cent of the population due to logistical challenges.
Already, the Authority has conducted a mop-up registration exercise in the Ashanti, Volta and Oti regions from August 2 to August 16, 2020.
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