By Frederick E. Aggrey
The National Identification Authority (NIA) has stated that the Ghana Card is self-financing, and the nation stands to gain from the exercise,
Speaking to the Parliamentary Committee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Professor Ken Attafuah, indicated that the project is self-financing, contrary to assertions that Ghana is going to incur unimaginable costs.
He said, aside the initial first year cost of US$293 million, the subsequent costs would be borne by proceeds from the exercise.
He added that total estimated cost of the project amounts to US$1.2 billion over a 15-year period. Ghana is to raise US$124 million to fund its initial contribution, with IMS raising an additional US$169 million in mixed debt and equity.
Giving the key cost components of the project, Prof. Ken Attafuah revealed that cost of the project card production accounts for 71% of the total cost of the project. He added that a total of 90.4 million cards would be issued over a 15-year period.
According to him, other costs breakdown includes 53.6 million smart cards at a cost of US$5.40 per card, and 36.70 million 2D cards at USD 1.50 per card.
He added that operational costs for the 15 years include recruitment and training of personnel for the exercise. The exercise includes the registration of citizens, both home and abroad, and development and implementation of effective communication and public campaigns.
Others include the establishment of regional, zonal and district offices across the country, and at missions abroad to provide daily registration services.
According to him, capital expenditure for the project covers the central site, registration equipment, disaster recovery system, telecommunication setups and operational vehicles.
He added that the NIA would also ensure that the system is sustained through the upgradement of the technical system every five years to cost US$59.6 million. Maintenance and support of the system would also cost US$118.1 million over the 15-year period.
He added that US$124 million out of the USD296 million represents 42% of the 1st year project cost to be spent on the central site, upgrading of the NIA Data Center from tier 2 to 3 level, procurement of disaster recovery system, procurement of printers, generators and other items for the project.
He called on Ghanaians and all stakeholders to support the project for success.