Home » Nia to Capture 7Million Under 15 Years and 3 Million Ghanaians Abroad for Ghana Card
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Nia to Capture 7Million Under 15 Years and 3 Million Ghanaians Abroad for Ghana Card

The opportunity is being provided by the National Identification Authority (NIA) through its upcoming continuous registration exercise, which is the final attempt to capture the rest of the first cohort of about 20 million who are above 14 years old.

It will enable them to efficiently engage in essential transactions, including banking, tax payment, buying and selling of land, secure national health insurance, drivers’ licence, SIM card, passport, among other services, which they are currently not able to access personally without the Ghana Card.

Data sourced from the NIA showed that 17.56 million Ghanaians, aged 15 and above, out of the 30.8 million population have been registered as of October 31, 2023.

Officials say more than 17.51 million cards have been printed, out of which 16.62 million have been issued, with 895,000 of the printed cards ready to be issued, but that the owners have not made themselves available to receive them.

So far, cards of about 49,000 applicants are yet to be printed for a variety of technical reasons, while registration of some 101,000 people have been arrested or blocked pending investigation for attempting to register more than once.

Additionally, 192,277 foreigners have been provided with non-citizen identity cards.

2024 registration

Plans are, however, underway to capture Ghanaians abroad in 2024 by providing registration services to about three million Ghanaian citizens outside the country for a fee between $20 and $50.

It would offer services to seven million young Ghanaians under 15 years of age, and 10,000 refugees, asylum seekers and other persons of concern.

Why legal identity

Although not the entire population has been captured at this moment, the feat is a major boost in the quest of the government to create a foundational identification system with the primary purpose of establishing legal identity for its citizens.

It also offers a renewed hope to the government’s commitment to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which seek to encourage the provision of legal identity, including birth registration, for all by 2030.


A prospective Ghana card applicant, Emmanuel Obeng Asamoah, who interacted with the Daily Graphic at the NIA head office in Accra, stated that he was a Ghanaian citizen permanently resident in Canada, but needed the national ID card for business transactions when on a visit in Ghana.

He explained that the Ghana Card had become an important element in the life of every Ghanaian, including those living abroad, hence the frequent visit to secure the card.

“Key on my visit to Ghana this November is to secure a Ghana Card, and that is why I am at the NIA office today to enquire about the process because I was here last year, (but) I could not get it,” he said.

Another Ghanaian based in the United Kingdom (UK), Getrude Odeibea, who spoke to the Daily Graphic via telephone, said she went through the pain of travelling to Ghana physically last year to secure the card, but could not register her children because they were below the 15 years cut-off point.

“And so, if the government has decided to bring the registration to us wherever we are for a fee of $50, I think it will be positive news for all of us.

“This is because many of my friends are also planning to travel to Ghana despite the risk, pain and cost just to secure the ID cards.

I think the government should expedite action on the exercise, especially for Ghanaian citizens abroad,” she said.

A Ghanaian tourist, Eugenia Ampofo, maintained that the Ghana Card was now serving as passport for most of her trips outside Ghana.

She, however, said acquiring the card or replacing it was a difficult task, and for that reason called for measures that could ease the process.

The Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, noted that the cards were issued to Ghanaians free of charge, while foreigners were required to pay $120 for it.

“Our plan is to start within the next two months registering the 2.5 million yet to be covered, Ghanaians abroad and those aged between six and 14.

“The obligation is to register all Ghanaians and so, we will add Ghanaians under six years old.

The NIA, in collaboration with the Births and Deaths Registry and the Ghana Health Service, has started a pilot project to include babies aged zero to six years,” he said.

He explained that in the case of Ghanaians abroad, the law had stipulated that those in West Africa should pay a fee approximately $20, while those in the rest of Africa and outside Africa should pay $30 and $50 respectively for the card.

The Ghana Card, which is a valid verification document, uses three types of biometric technology for identification purposes, including unique fingerprints, facial templates (digitised colour photo of the card holder) and iris.

The technology deployed incorporates several layers of security features — physical, logical and technical — that made the card difficult to forge and protected the personal information stored on the card.

These features allow only authorised persons to read the information and the bona fide owners to use the card for purposes of identification.

The card contains basic identification information including a photograph of the card holder, along with a name, date of birth, height, and a personal identification number that has been randomly generated and assigned to the holder and has an expiry date.

Depending on the age of the individual, the card will have either a two-dimensional barcode or a machine-readable zone at the back, which holds biometric information, namely the holder’s fingerprints in digitised templates, as well as the holder’s signature.

Expert opinion

A digital infrastructure analyst, Edward David, said provision of legal identity for all citizens would promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

He said a digital identity such as the Ghana Card enabled people to access a wide range of goods and services, including bank accounts, markets for their businesses, and government benefits.

He added that the government must learn from past mistakes by honouring all obligations and commitments to the NIA in order not to truncate the process of creating an inclusive society with the Ghana card.

This report is produced under the DPI Africa Journalism Fellowship Programme of the Media Foundation for West Africa and Co-Develop.

Source : Graphic