General News of Friday, 22 December 2017
The National Identification Authority (NIA) should be issuing the National ID cards from January 2018, barring any last minute hitch.
This is the indication from the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The move will however depend on the maturity of the Legislative Instrument (LI) on the policy currently before Parliament.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, December 21st 2017, the Spokesperson for the Vice President, Dr. Gideon Boako explained that the LI is expected to mature at least by the next three weeks.
“If the twenty-one days passes and matures for Parliament to approve that, then that LI comes into effect. So giving ourselves roughly by next month or the end of next month, I am sure that LI will have to be passed in Parliament and so the National Identification Authority can go ahead with their activities,” he asserted.
The National Identification system is one of the three key pillars on which the NPP government is seeking to capitalize and drive financial inclusion.
Aside helping to identify Ghanaians, the policy is also to aid in formulating subsequent policies that are aimed at improving the livelihoods of Ghanaians.
But the government has postponed the implementation of the policy to next year (2018) after missing its September deadline.
Dr. Boako is however confident of meeting the timeline as scheduled.
“There may be some setbacks but that does not suggest that nothing is going to be done at all; once it has been launched and the process is ongoing and the bottlenecks which are there have all been sorted out, I am sure the policy will start working,” he added.
Mobile money interoperability set for take off
Meanwhile, he says the various stakeholders are working to solve all technical issues for a smooth rollout of the mobile money interoperability next year.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at the National Policy Summit in August this year, reiterated efforts to meet the November deadline for mobile money interoperability.
The mandate, which lies with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), came after a botched agreement with Sibton Switch systems which had agreed to deliver the service for some 4.6 billion cedis.
It is to facilitate transfers among the various Mobile Network Operators.
This is also expected to increase financial inclusion by providing alternatives for persons who may not prefer the traditional banking system.
Despite missing the planned deadline, indications are that the GhIPSS will roll out the policy from next year.