The National Identification Authority (NIA) has reacted to the allegation by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it was conspiring with the Electoral Commission (EC) to rig the 2020 general elections in favour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The NIA in a press statement on Friday challenged the NDC to provide evidence to support the allegation.
“NIA is not part of the election management architecture in Ghana. There is no conspiracy between NIA and EC to rig the 2020 elections. Election rigging is a serious criminal matter with dire political, economic and social consequences for any nation.
“Any person, party or institution alleging such a criminal conspiracy has a duty to report same to the police and provide the requisite evidence to support investigations and/or prosecution,” the NIA said.
The NDC at a press conference on Thursday said activities of the NIA and the Electoral Commission ahead of the 2020 polls were all geared towards rigging the elections.
The National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, for instance alleged that the NIA prioritised the Ashanti Region and Eastern Region, deemed a stronghold of the NPP during its registration exercise.
He said the NIA deployed a number of its equipment to the region in a bid to capture more people so the NPP could get more voters to be captured onto the new electoral roll.
The NIA in responding, however, said it “does not operate on the basis of political strongholds.”
“Our operations planning is based on population statistics obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service. There has been no deliberate effort to prevent applicants in any region to register,” it said.
Read full response below;
NIA RESPONDS TO NDC CLAIMS
The following constitutes the responses of the National Identification Authority (NIA) to the
claims made by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at its press conference in Accra on Thursday, 14th May 2020: NDC CLAIM #1: NIA and EC are acting in concert to rig the 2020 elections
Ken Attafuah-led NIA and Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission have conspired to rig the 2020
elections in favour of the NPP and ate executing that criminal design.
Response: NIA is not part of the election management architecture in Ghana. There is no
conspiracy between NIA and EC to rig the 2020 elections. Election rigging is a serious criminal matter with dire political, economic and social consequences for any nation. Any person, party or
institution alleging such a criminal conspiracy has a duty to report same to the police and provide
the requisite evidence to support investigations and/or prosecution.
The governance architecture of NIA goes beyond the current Chief Executive Officer, i.e., Prof.
Ken Agyemang Attafuah. The day-to-day administration and management of the affairs of NIA is
led by the Executive Secretary, but polies governing the operations of NIA are set and regulated by the NIA Governing Board, which also reports to the President of the Republic through a
Minister of State at the Presidency – in this instance, the Hon. Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, MP,
Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation and Minister responsible for the National Identification
System (NIS). It must be noted that the NIA Governing Board comprises the Chief Executives of
various statutory agencies involved in identity management or that require accurate, reliable,
complete and up-to-date data for efficient service delivery, such as SSNIT, NHIA, Statistical
Service, GRA, Births and Deaths Registry, and Ghana Immigration Service. It also has two
eminent academics – a Professor of Law at the University of Ghana Business School, and a
Professor of Agricultural Economics from Central University, and chaired by a distinguished
retired public servant. The members of the Board are women and men whose individual and
collective integrity and decency are beyond reproach.
Thus, “the Ken Attafuah-led NIA” cannot just act as it pleases; on the contrary, it is subject to the
policy direction and control of the NIA Governing Board. Thus, a decision to collaborate with any
state institution such as the Electoral Commission in any enterprise must be directed or approved
by the Governing Board, which also directs or approves the commencement, discontinuation or
resumption of a mass registration exercise in any region.
NDC CLAIM #2: Exclusion of the Voter ID as Ghana Card registration requirement was both
unlawful and illegitimate
Response: This claim is most astonishing. The amendment of section 8 of Act 750 to exclude the
Voter ID Card, Driver’s License, Baptismal Certificates and weighing Cards as valid registration
requirements was effected by Parliament without a whimper of opposition or protest from any
member of Parliament. The exclusive reliance on Birth Certificates, Passports and Certificates of
acquired Citizenship was supported by the NDC in Parliament. Indeed, the amendments received
the unqualified endorsement of the Minority MPs in Parliament, and the MPs who spoke on the
Bill were mainly from the Minority side, with each of them enthusiastically support for the
amendments. Indeed, as Hon. Innusah Fusseini put it, the MPs were satisfied that ample provision
had been made in the Bill to cater for those Ghanaians who had neither a birth certificate nor a
passport, namely the “vouching for” process. In these circumstances, the exclusion was both legal
and legitimate, having been passed by the Ghanaian Parliament and on sound legal and social
By virtue of L.I. 2111 passed in 2012, the Ghana Card is the ONLY identity card to be required
and produced whenever identity must be established or proved. By law, there are 17 mandatory
uses of the Ghana Card, and failure to produce the card will result in the denial of a service, facility,
right or opportunity to which a person may otherwise be entitled.
For the record, the mandatory uses of the Ghana Card as contained in the said Legislative
Instrument include application for and issuance of a passport; application for and issuance of a
driver’s licence; opening individual or personal bank accounts; transfer and registration of land by
an individual; transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions; transactions specified
under the National Health Insurance Scheme; purchase of a SIM card; transactions relating to
pensions, transactions relating to insurance policies, transactions that have social security
implications, registration as a voter; acquisition of a SIM card; payment of taxes; consumer credit
transactions; and applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals, permissions
or benefits. The inclusive development needs of the nation demand that all Ghanaians be enabled
to register for and be issued with the Ghana Card.
NDC Claim #3: NIA has only registered 11 million Ghanaians and issued only 7 million cards.
Response: NIA under the current Government has done remarkably well given the initial
challenges that confronted it, namely, limited technical capacity (1050 MRWs instead of 2500)
and financial resource constraints. Starting with a daily average of approximately 30,000
registrations per day in late April 2019, NIA’s latest daily average registrations stand at over
120,000 due mainly to invigorated equipment capacity and the attainment of operational
excellence by the technical staff.
With this significant boost in daily throughput, a minimum of 100,000 applicants can be registered
each day. Thus, NIA can register 3 million Ghanaians in approximately 30 working days, and the
overall national target of 12million would have been met by 27th March 2020, when the nationwide
mass registration exercise would have ended. The national target of 16.7million people would have
been achieved in the subsequent mop-up exercise that was planned to end in June 2020.
NDC CLAIM #4: Instant Issuance has failed
Response: The instant issuance strategy is an innovation introduced by NIA to address its
perennial inability to issue printed cards over the years. Network connectivity permitting, instant
printing is the preferred mode of card printing, followed by the second option of deferred printing,
and lastly centralized printing. Nationwide, over 70% of all cards are issued instantly, with the
Volta Region having the best experience.
It is noteworthy that, between 2008 and 2016, NIA issued only 900,000 Ghana Cards. In less than
one year – between 29th April 2019 when mass registration started and 20th March 2020 when the
exercise was truncated – NIA issued 7,091,769! A total of 127,723 are in various stages of
adjudication. NIA has printed the majority of cards in backlog (3,683,955), and is ready to issue
them to Ghanaians once NIA resumes its field operations.
NDC Claim #5: Suppression of registration in NDC strongholds
Response: There is no truth to this allegation. NIA does not operate on the basis of political
strongholds. Our operations planning is based on population statistics obtained from Ghana
Statistical Service. There has been no deliberate effort to prevent applicants in any region to
NDC Claim #6: The Sworn-Oath Option has been slow and cumbersome
Response: While it is true the exclusion of the voter ID card as a primary registration requirement
has increased the number of applicants needing to be vouched for, this process has been a part of
our electoral practice under the Fourth Republic. The only difference now is that requirement that
the oath be sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths or Magistrate. This ensures greater document
integrity as guarantors appreciate the consequences of perjury in swearing the oath of identity.
NIA ensures that a Commissioner for Oaths is available at every registration centre, at no cost to
the applicants. Indeed, over 70% of applicants for the Ghana Card used this method to validate
their citizenship nationwide.
NDC Claim #7: NIA mobilized unprecedented numbers of equipment and personnel into Ashanti
The NDC alleges that, while NIA deployed an average of 2000 MRW’s in all the NDC strongholds,
it miraculously acquired and sent 5,092 MRW’s, 800 Card Printers, 3,192 MRW’s into the Ashanti
Region, which is NPP’s stronghold.
Response: It is not true that NIA deployed over 5000 MRWs into the Ashanti Region. The
maximum number ever deployed was 3,600, as some of the old equipment had become faulty and
some of the new ones were kept at the Head Office and used for hot-swapping when some of the
It is true that a larger number of Mobile Registration Workstations and other ancillary equipment
were deployed into the Shanti Region relative to Greater Accra, Volta, Oti, Savanna, North East,
Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Ahafo, Bono, and Bono East Regions. But the same number
of equipment sent into the Ashanti Region was also sent to the Western, Western North, Central
(clustered as one NIA Operational Region) and the Eastern Region. As noted earlier, these
decisions were influenced solely by population density and equipment availability. Based on
operational realities on the ground, NIA requested for additional equipment in July 2019 in order
to scale-up its operations, and received same in October 2019. Some of the new equipment were
deployed to the Upper East, Upper West, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions (clustered as one
NIA Operational Region) as soon as they were assembled, loaded with software, tested and readied
for use in late October and November. By the start of the mass registration exercise in the Ashanti
Region on 11th December 2019, most of the equipment were technically ready for use.
The concept of “strongholds of NDC and strongholds of NPP” has never been in NIA’s
contemplation or operational planning. The figures used by NIA for setting its registration targets
figures were obtained from the Statistical Service and not from the EC.
It must be emphasized that 50% of registration officials engaged by NIA were recruited from the
regions where the registration exercise was being undertaken. It is hard to contemplate that such
officials will condone an agenda to disenfranchise their compatriots as the NDC seeks to suggest.
NDC Claim #8: NIA jumped from Greater Accra straight to Northern Region for improper
The NDC queries why NIA did not go straight to the Eastern Region which is the most proximate
region to Greater Accra region, but rather went straight to the Northern Region. The NDC claims
that it is curious that Eastern Region was the last and Ashanti the last-but-two regions to be
registered, and that, this was deliberately orchestrated to procure electoral advantage to NPP to the
disadvantage of NDC.
Response: The Volta Region is just as proximate to the Greater Accra Region as the Volta Region
is. In 2008, NIA started the mass registration exercise in the Central Region in July 2008,
proceeded to the Western Region, went next to the Eastern Region, and then the Volta Region in
June/July 2009. This was during the tenure of Prof. Ken Attafuah as Executive Secretary between
July 2008 and July 2009. Following a lull in operations, NIA resumed operations in Greater Accra,
went to Ashanti and, eventually, finished the exercise in the three northern regions in 2013. This
time round, in 2019, NIA elected to start the mass registration exercise in Greater Accra, and
proceeded anti-clockwise to the Volta, Oti, Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper East, Upper
West, Bono, Ahafo, Bono East, Ashanti, Western North, Western, Central and, finally, Eastern
region. S in 2008, there was no political calculation in this operational design, just simple logical
flow to reduce cost, taking into account the nations topography, transportation network, population
density and such related appropriate considerations. There was no mischief or malevolence, and
no advantage to any political party or administrative region.
It must also be emphasized that the Management and Staff of NIA are drawn from all parts of this
country, and they all appreciate the benefits of all Ghana having a credible National Identity
System. This sound appreciation of the tremendous benefits of the Ghana Card to citizens and the
nation is what drives NIA Management and Staff to execute our mandate with dedication and
loyalty to the nation. Voting and elections do not form part of NIA mandate, and do not drive what
we do at NIA.
The NIA Governing Board, Management and Staff are well aware of the impact their success will
make in Ghana’s development. We wake up every day determined to achieve just that. Contrary
to the NDC claims against NIA, the following are the values, realities, ethos and considerations
that drive and motivate NIA Governing Board Members, Management and Staff in the discharge
of their duties:
1. Meeting the sustainable development goals of providing legal identity for all Ghanaians
and qualified foreigners in Ghana.
2. Contributing to the nation’s effort to decrease Cybercrime and Internet fraud. A credible
national ID system has great potential of removing anonymity from our country.
3. Supporting the Ghana Immigration Service in Immigration Enforcement activities.
Ghana’s immigration officials on enforcement duties will be able to easily identify
nationals and foreigners.
4. Providing effective and reliable identity verification and data exchange platforms to
enhance business transaction in the country. At the Results Fair held at the International
Conference Centre early this year, the Banks represented at the open forum expressed keen
interest in seeing NIA’s verification models come on board for easy verification of the
5. Facilitating the smooth usage of a credible, robust, dependable and modern smart Ghana
Card with tremendous functionalities. The NHIA and SSNIT have decided to stop issuing
ID cards to their members and rather piggy-back on the Ghana Card because of the utility,
quality and value of the Ghana Card. NIA welcomes any other state institution that would
want to use one of the 14 loadable applets on the chip embedded in the Ghana Card. If the
EC decides to make the Ghana Card one of its primary registration documents, that would
further prove the quality and dependability of the data NIA is collecting.
6. Removing the difficulties encountered by passport applicants. The Ghana Card, which is
also an ECOWAS CARD, is a passport for use within the West African sub-region. Thus,
16.7 million Ghanaians will be issued with a passport for free by the end of the mass
registration and mop-up exercises. Using the Ghana Card will make on-line applications
for paper passports as easier and quicker.
7. The National Identity Register will facilitate the generation of credible data for national
development planning purposes. We can tell from the data, for instance, which category of
professionals we need to train and encourage for national development, and the number of
persons who are vulnerable, and in need of special assistance.
The Way Forward
NIA has used the opportunity afforded by the lock-down induced by the COVID-19 pandemic to
print most of the cards in backlog and to adjudicate the hundreds of thousands of applications that
had gone into “adjudication” because of conflicts and inconsistencies in personal information
provided by some applicants to the NIA in previous and the current registration exercises. The data
released are being printed, and all cards in backlog and adjudication should be printed by end of
May 2020 for issuance to the applicants.
At the appropriate time, NIA will resume and complete the mass registration exercise in the Eastern
Region. It will then undertake a mop-up mass registration exercise in the Greater Accra Region
during which time it will also issue the cards to those Ghanaians whose cards are ready. In addition,
NIA will undertake a mop-up exercise in five (5) Regions which had the lowest registration results,
namely Upper East, Upper West, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, and issue all the printed
cards to the applicants resident in those regions. Finally, NIA will set up Regional, Municipal and
District offices across the country to ensure continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana
SGND: ACI. FRANCIS PALMDETI
HEAD, CORPORATE AFFAIRS, NIA
Source: Daily Graphic