General News of Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong has marveled at the $1.2 billion budget quoted by the Prof Ken Attefuah-led National Identification Authority (NIA) for the production of the national ID cards (Ghana Cards), quizzing: “Are you mad?”
The National Identification Authority (NIA) on Monday, 28 May 2018, suspended the roll-out of its limited registration exercise intended to have started that day over what its Executive Director Prof Ken Attefuah described as a “pure technical glitch”.
An apology statement issued by the NIA to personnel of the Jubilee House, Judicial Service, Ministry of Defence, National Security, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), MOFARI (Research Dept), Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Prison Service and Ghana National Fire Service, who had readied themselves for the process on Monday said: “Under the circumstances, registration was suspended until the problem is completely resolved”.
The statement said NIA’s technical team is “working fervently to resolve the issue for registration to begin”.
“I sincerely apologise, this is just a pure technical glitch that has happened on the worse that you could wish for a technical glitch to happen in your operations”.
The Ghana Cards will cost a total of $1.2 billion. The government of Ghana is contributing $531 million of that amount. The remaining $678 million is coming from Identity Management System (IMS), which is partnering the NIA under a public/private partnership (PPP) agreement.
Speaking on Accra-based Adom TV’s Badwam programme on Tuesday, 29 May, however, Mr Agyapong said the “$1.2 billion is rubbish, the word is rubbish; you’re claiming someone took $1.2 billion to the Bank of Ghana and you spoke against it claiming you used $4 million instead, and now it is the turn of the NPP and $1.2 billion is being quoted and what are you saying?”
“This man [Prof Attefuah] is now saying it is sabotage. When he met mostly NDC people at the SSNIT building apart from one Charles, he accused me of bringing in Indians. The Indians were not even asking for $50 million, so, are you telling me $1.2 billion, are you mad? $1.2 billion, Ghana here? Are you out of your mind? What do you mean? We are in Ghana and my children live here”, he said.
According to him, “A renowned company in the world, there are two companies in Indian with a total population of 1.2 billion, they divided it into the northern and southern sectors, and they took the southern sector for 600 million people, can you compare Ghana’s population of 30 million to 600 million for you to tell me they are not competent, that they were willing to take $50 million, and you $1.2 billion? Are you out of your mind?
“I serve my country, I don’t serve any political party, case closed. I serve Ghana, I don’t serve any political party for you to come and tell us $1.2 billion, $1.2 billion for what? Somebody wants GHS200 to sell plantain, are you crazy, you are collapsing Ghana, you are disgracing the president. $1.2 billion, a poor country like Ghana? Are you mad? After setting up your software and technical infrastructure, what else do you need that it will cost you $1.2 billion?”