I am convinced that digitisation and hence one of its products, Ghana Card, is the way to go for us. I see the direction as a gem of our time in the elimination of fraudsters or any criminalities in our system not to mention the many benefits that one knows to exist for individuals.
If you ask me where my sudden confidence is coming from, I will first and foremost point to the recent happenings at the Tamale National Identification Authority’s (NIA) office where Aisha Huang, the Chinese “galamsey queen” is said to have gone to register with a new identity.
Aisha Huang is alleged to have re-entered the country after her deportation in December 2018 in alleged galamsey complications. She is reported to have come through the Togo border and went to the Tamale office of the NIA end of last month, August 25, 2022, to be precise, to register for a fresh Ghana Card for non-citizens.
At that stage, it was discovered she had changed her name to Ruixia Huang. Allegedly, she also had a new date of birth, November 7, 1975, which matched the new Chinese passport she was carrying.
Confidence in digitisation
What made my confidence in the digitisation system shoot up was the fact that the moment her biometrics were taken for this new registration, the system threw up the same old biometric data first captured in 2014 bearing the name of Aisha Huang and date of birth different from what she presented at the Tamale NIA office.
In short, the registration noted some inconsistencies and therefore rejected the application thus triggering a search by the NIA office. If it was not for digitisation, where and how on earth would anyone have discovered the anomaly?
Apparently, she explained to the officials attending to her that she had changed her name but unfortunately, she could not produce documents to support her claim. That, however, is not the interest of this article.
What is of interest is that biometric data is unique to individuals and no two people can share the same for as long as the data has been captured under digitisation.
The records available showed that Aisha Huang first registered for a non-citizen’s identity card as far back as 2014 at Nhyiaso in Kumasi. She renewed that identity card in 2016. So, her biometrics were already captured in the NIA system.
Even though the NIA may have come across issues of inconsistencies exposed by the biometric data in the course of their duties, the case of Madam Huang makes it exceptionally clear that no one can cheat or do a misrepresentation their Ghana Card. The system would expose them.
What better system could we have asked for as we move forward for simplification in officialdom, doing away with rigours and exposing fraud and misrepresentation? It is going to be an aid to law enforcement authorities as they seek to authenticate irregularities and frauds.
Indeed, NIA should do its possible best to educate and encourage eligible Ghanaians and non-citizens resident here to register for identity cards. In so doing, the process must be made simple and easy to go through.
So, any wonder the banks, mobile phone companies and other security-conscious entities are pushing for customers to re-register their details with their Ghana cards? The Ghana Card is certainly going to make life easy and more transparent.
If there is anyone out there planning anything untoward, the lesson here, and a warning too, is that your Ghana Card will eventually expose you.
And that is why I strongly believe from what has transpired with Aisha Huang’s new registration and which has convinced me greatly is the future of voting with one’s Ghana card.
In view of all the brouhaha at the voting time concerning dual registration, double voting, non-citizens posing as voters, impersonations and registration of minors, using the Ghana Card to vote will eventually be the way to go.
But that is a different topic. Perhaps one needs to let the 2024 general election go as usual and wait for the NIA to get all eligible Ghanaians to get registered for their Ghana Card and resume the discussion.
Be that as it may, one should not forget that the identity card also has tremendous benefits for individuals some of which have been amplified enough.
One such benefit that needs emphasising is that citizens entering the country are able to use their Ghana cards in the absence of passports to travel to Ghana.
Recently, British Airways for example gave impressive statistics of passengers with Ghana Card who were allowed to board their flights from London to Ghana from as far back as January this year.
The space for the use of the ID card might grow with time and the benefits amplified. Certainly, there is everything pointing to thumbs up for biometric data capturing in the process of digitisation in our country. It is progressive for our future.
The writer can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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