The minority MPs in Ghana’s Parliament say they will not be part of the National Identification Authority ( NIA) registration, which will be carried out in Parliament today. A statement signed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and released in Accra today said it “was our understanding that the National Identification Authority would engage Members of Parliament in a meeting to clarify a number of issues relating to the rollout of the exercise.”
This, he noted, has not been done yet the NIA is going ahead to register the MPs. The following is the full statement.The Minority Caucus in Parliament has taken note of an announcement that the National Identification Authority (NIA), will be carrying out a registration exercise in Parliament tomorrow, Monday, 11th June, 2018.
We find this development very surprising for a number of reasons.
First, it was our understanding that the National Identification Authority would engage Members of Parliament in a meeting to clarify a number of issues relating to the rollout of the exercise. This meeting was duly advertised in the Business Statement at least twice only to be postponed again this time indefinitely when the Business Statement was read by the Majority Chief Whip, Hon. Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh last Friday the 8th of June, 2018. We still have no indication when this crucial meeting will be held.
Second, significant questions remain about the cost, scope and legality of the project as well as registration requirements.
With regards to the cost of the project, the leadership of the NIA has been less than candid with the people of Ghana. Whereas documents available to us show that the total project cost is $1.4 billion which can be broken down into $1,221,476,123 actual cost and tax exemption of $176 million, the Chief Executive Officer of the NIA, Prof Ken Attafuah, is on record as saying it will cost $293 million.
We are also aware that despite the provision of Government support by the Akufo Addo government in respect of revenue projections for the project, this has not been brought to Parliament for approval in accordance with Ghanaian Law.
Furthermore, we remain opposed to the restriction of identification requirements for registration to Passports and Birth Certificates. Our analysis shows that this will prevent about 23 million Ghanaians from obtaining the Ghana Card and deprive them of any benefit thereof.
We also have grave concerns about potential breaches of Procurement laws and processes.
In view of the foregoing, we are unable to participate in the registration exercise slated for tomorrow at Parliament house. Subsequent to this statement, we will hold a comprehensive press conference on Tuesday, 12th June, 2018 to shed more light on our position and matters arising out of the National Identification project.