NIA justifies new smart ID cards project

The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it will go ahead with a planned data upgrading project despite public outcry of waste of public funds.

Public Relations Officer for the NIA, Bertha Dzeble, said although concerns about waste of public expenses were right, some information in the media were not factual.

The Daily Graphic reported Thursday that the Authority was to embark on a $115 million project for new smart cards with expanded features and information.

Bertha Dzeble told Joy News the $115 million is the amount that was spent on a previous mass registration exercise.

She explained that the new smart card has a larger storage capacity that will enhance government’s vision of harmonising all databases into one.

She said the new cards would serve as a one stop card that will be used for all transactions by Ghanaians.

The NIA Public Relations Officer also debunked claims that the information on the old cards would be rendered useless with the new smart cards.

“That data is a useful data we are going to put in the new database so we have not wasted that money [on the earlier project] at all”, she said.

She said existing data of card holders would be updated when the new project starts.

“What that means is that we are going to update information if a subscriber is already existing in the system”, she said.

She said technological advancements have made it possible for National ID cards, called Ghana Cards, to be upgraded to meet international standards.

The previous mass registration failed to live up to expectation because of delays in the release of funds, she explained.

  Story by Ghana | | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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