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National: 15.8m people have Ghana Card – NIA

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The National Identification Authority (NIA) has so far issued 15,826,148 Ghana Cards out of the 16,627,325 printed cards from 17,109,627 registrations as of the end of August this year.

Some 1,283,479 cards remain uncollected, for various reasons, including some needing updates, people unable to locate their collection points, while others are also not showing up to collect them because they “feel they have no need for them now.”

Addressing a press conference in Accra last Friday, the Executive Secretary of the NIA, Professor Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah, said while his outfit admits that there were some challenges with the issuance of the cards, it could not be blamed solely if some people did not have their cards yet.

He said some Ghanaians had failed to take advantage of the various opportunities for them to go for their cards at the decentralised levels.

“We still have some cards issued during the mass registration exercises in 2020. I was in Koforidua about three months ago on a monitoring exercise. I called someone whose card was ready to come for it. That person said it was not time for the collection of cards and that he would come for it when he had need for it.

“Some Ghanaians are even making demand to be given money before they will go for their cards,” he said, and cited an incident that happened at Akim Oda where a woman had asked for money before she would go for her card.

Those challenges notwithstanding, Prof. Attafuah gave an assurance that the NIA would ensure that all people who had registered were able to go for their cards, since the cards had already been printed at a cost.

Deadlines, data harmonisation

Prof. Attafuah said the NIA was working around the clock to ensure that the cards were issued, noting that at the moment people who had registered but did not have their Ghana cards yet could still be verified, when need be, as remarkable progress had been made with the data harmonisation effort.

He explained that with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the NIA and the various outfits over data harmonisation and use, all the agencies requiring the Ghana Card as the only means of ID for business transaction — the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and 24 universal banks, as well as mobile network operators — had been successfully connected to the NIA’s verification system platform following the process, so once they had that system, verification was possible and easy.

“Between 2018 and 2022, the NIA has executed an MoU for the delivery of data harmonisation and integration services with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Students Loan Trust, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the BoG, the ARB Apex Bank, the 24 universal or commercial banks in the country, as well as Airtel/Tigo, MTN, Vodafone and GLO.

“The NIA has completed data harmonisation and transfer of data sets to the following institutions following the execution of MoUs with them — the GRA: 15,797,860 data sets transferred; SSNIT: 15,412,055 data sets transferred; NHIA: 15,317,256 data sets transferred; Airtel/Tigo: 1,766,546 data sets transferred; MTN: 11,524,584 data sets transferred; Vodafone: 10,340,802 data sets transferred, and GLO: 142,215 data sets transferred.

“It must, therefore, be appreciated that Ghanaians who have registered but have not yet been issued their Ghana cards can still be verified by the banks and the telecommunication companies if the verification devices specified by the NIA are available at these facilities,” he said.

Single source of truth

Unlike the initial identity card that was issued between 2008 and 2017, the Ghana Card currently being issued, Prof. Attafuah said, was a digitalised source of identity, aimed at ensuring that the country had a single source of truth in identity management activities.

That, he indicated, would help sanitise the ecosystem when it came to self-identification and group identification.

“Our robust national identification system will ensure that there are no debates, arguments and contestations about who you are in terms of your age and citizenship.

“So questions about electoral conflicts, issues about disputes, voting rights and entitlements and all those things will and should soon become things of the past,” he said.

He said the card was a dual interface smart biometric ID card with multiple functionalities.

“The security features are legendary, and it is one of the best cards you can find anywhere in the world,” he said.

Registration, appointment

Prof. Attafuah advised citizens who wished to register for the card to book appointments before visiting the registration centres to facilitate fast and easy registration processes.

“Those who show up without appointment, no matter how willing they are to pay and show up without appointment at 4 a.m., may encounter people who have appointments from eight o’clock and, therefore, may spend hours at the office,” he said.

Non-citizens’ cards

With regard to the non-citizen national identity cards issued to foreigners legally resident in Ghana, Prof. Attafuah said so far 161,007 had been issued to people from 202 countries.
Of the number, Chinese residents had the highest number of 34,712 cards being issued to them, representing 22 per cent of the total number of foreigners who had been issued with the cards, he said.

The NIA Executive Secretary said Nigerians were second, with 25,873 cards, followed by Indians with 20,110 cards.

“Germans constitute 4,329; Lebanese, 4,324; United Kingdom, 4,133; South Africans, 3,194; Ivorians, 2,150, and Gabonese, 1,958 cards,” he said.

Xenophobia

He could, however, not tell why Chinese topped the list of non-citizens registration, as reasons for being in the country and applying for the Ghana Card were not a criteria for registration.

He was quick to add that in dealing with matters like that, it was important to be careful not to single out a particular country and interrogate its citizens, as it could end in xenophobia.

“It wouldn’t be pleasant if you’re interrogated and treated differently from other countries because of the country you come from and some things some of your citizens have done,” he said.

Robust verification

The NIA Executive Secretary gave an assurance that the authority had a robust system to verify all cards of citizens for the purpose of transacting businesses with banks and verify non-citizens who would use the card to apply for or renew their residence permits, open or run bank accounts.

“We will continue to provide, as we have done since 2012, for all foreigners lawfully resident in this country to register under the foreigner identification management system project for the non-citizen identity card which, by law, they are required to register for,” Prof. Attafuah said.

“Germans constitute 4,329; Lebanese, 4,324; United Kingdom, 4,133; South Africans, 3,194; Ivorians, 2,150, and Gabonese, 1,958 cards,” he said.

Xenophobia

He could, however, not tell why Chinese topped the list of non-citizens registration, as reasons for being in the country and applying for the Ghana Card were not a criteria for registration.

He was quick to add that in dealing with matters like that, it was important to be careful not to single out a particular country and interrogate its citizens, as it could end in xenophobia.

“It wouldn’t be pleasant if you’re interrogated and treated differently from other countries because of the country you come from and some things some of your citizens have done,” he said.

Robust verification

The NIA Executive Secretary gave an assurance that the authority had a robust system to verify all cards of citizens for the purpose of transacting businesses with banks and verify non-citizens who would use the card to apply for or renew their residence permits, open or run bank accounts.

“We will continue to provide, as we have done since 2012, for all foreigners lawfully resident in this country to register under the foreigner identification management system project for the non-citizen identity card which, by law, they are required to register for,” Prof. Attafuah said.

Source: Graphic.com

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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