$50m for Ghana card unrealistic – NIA

Head of Training at the National Identification Authority (NIA), Abdul Abudu Ganyiyu, has stated that claims suggesting  the National Identity Card programme can be done at a cost of $50 million is not realistic.

The Assin Central legislator, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong on Tuesday, 29th May, 2018 criticised the $1.2 billion budget quoted by the Professor Ken Attafuah-led NIA, for the production of the national ID cards (Ghana Cards), quizzing: “Are you mad?”

The National Identification Authority (NIA) on Monday, 28th May, 2018, halted the roll-out of its limited registration exercise intended to have started that day over what its Executive Director, Professor Ken Attafuah described as a “pure technical glitch”.The Ghana Cards will cost a total of $1.2 billion. The government of Ghana is contributing $531 million of that amount, whereas the remaining $678 million is coming from Identity Management System (IMS), which is partnering the NIA under a public/private partnership (PPP) agreement.

Speaking on Accra-based Adom TV’s Badwam programme on Tuesday, 29 May, however, Mr Agyapong said the “$1.2 billion is rubbish, the word is rubbish; you’re claiming someone took $1.2 billion to the Bank of Ghana and you spoke against it claiming you used $4 million instead, and now it is the turn of the NPP and $1.2 billion is being quoted and what are you saying?”

“This man [Prof Attafuah] is now saying it is sabotage. When he met mostly NDC people at the SSNIT building apart from one Charles, he accused me of bringing in Indians. The Indians were not even asking for $50 million, so, are you telling me $1.2 billion, are you mad? $1.2 billion, Ghana here? Are you out of your mind? What do you mean? We are in Ghana and my children live here”, he said.

But reacting to the lawmaker’s claims on   AccraFM on Wednesday, 30 May, Mr Abdul Abudu Ganyiyu said: “His budget is unrealistic. We want him to provide his operational plan and technical component to ascertain whether or not he will be able to do this project at a cost of $50million.”

“We are recruiting 2,700 data entry clerks, 10,000 registration officers in every region, 2,700 commissioners of oath. We need to do this project in just one year and trust me, $50 million cannot do the work that the government wants to do. His figure is not realistic.”