General News of Friday, 6 October 2017
The Foundation for Generational Thinkers (FOGET) is advocating for a centralized system of all national identity cards of Ghanaians to help curb the intrusion of foreign national who are creating all sort of problems for the country’s national security.
“Ghana could only make a headway if all ID cards; passports, drivers’ licenses, Social Security ID, Voters’ ID and the NHIS are centralized,” a statement signed and released in Accra by the President of FOGET, Prosper Afetsi, in part read.
To make the dream of the centralized system a reality, FOGET is further proposing for a system where Ghanaian nationals will be properly documented from birth to death in order to eliminate or do away with all middle-men who interfere in the process leading to the acquisition of national ID cards, especially, birth certificates, passports, and NHIS cards, to foreign nationals.
Mr. Afetsi in the statement identified the issuance and acquisition of Ghanaian passport and birth certificate as two vital documents that have become easy to access by foreign nationals as one of the major challenges confronting Ghana’s national security.
“While Ghanaian citizens face a lot of challenges and frustrations in acquiring passports as one of their rights, foreigners, through middle-men, acquire the passports and other national ID cards with ease. The inability of our system to properly document citizens from birth to death has therefore, made it possible for non-citizens of Ghana to acquire such documents with the collusion of employees of these national agencies – Passport Office, Births and Deaths Registry and a host of others mandated to protect the security of the state,” he noted.
Ideally, charges for applying a Ghanaian passport are pegged between GH?50.00 and GH?100.00 for normal and express applications but middle-men charge between GH?500.00 and GH?1, 00.00 to acquire the same passport for applicants.
This, the President of FOGET noted, could be curtailed if the country could put in a mechanism that would automatically generate a social security number for its citizenry right from birth to sanitize the corrupt system.
Another outfit where Mr. Afetsi identified as frustrating applicants is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
According to him, Ghanaians who are qualified and so ought to have been issued with driver’s licenses are denied, a situation he added, is contributing to the increasing spate of road accidents in the country.
“It seems everything about Ghana is becoming more frustrating if one wants to do the right thing without cutting corners. Our reasons for this call are obvious: terrorism, especially, on the West African coast is on the rise and it is therefore absolutely necessary that the authorities know about every citizen where he or she resides and what he or she does for a living. Whereas some might call it an intrusion into citizens’ privacy, protection of the general society takes precedence over that of individual freedoms. This necessitates that at a point, we must surrender our individual freedoms for the general good. We are therefore urging the government to fast-track the issuance of the GhanaCard with enhanced security features to ensure that each and every citizen is protected. We believe this is not too much a task for a government that is desirous of building a digital economy.”