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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

It’s too regimental, robotic and insensitive – Gyampo blasts Controller General over Ghana Card directive

Senior Political Science Lecturer, Prof. Ransford Gyampo

• Prof. Gyampo advises government to address concerns about Ghana card

• Ghana National Association of Teachers describes the Controller General’s directive as draconian

• Controller General lacks capacity to issue such a directive, says Prof. Gyampo

Senior Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has described a directive by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department asking persons on government’s payroll to acquire a Ghana Card by December or forfeit their salaries, as a “needless flex of non-existent administrative muscle”.

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Among other things, the outspoken lecturer said the Controller General lacks the capacity to issue such directive.

“The directive to all public sector workers to get their Ghana Cards by December 1, or forfeit their salaries, is too regimental, robotic, insensitive and a needless flex of non-existent administrative muscle on the part of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.

“Whiles many Ghanaians are yet to tame the audacity and arrogance of political power exhibited by some, if not all politicians, we are now being threatened by bureaucratic and administrative arrogance, manifesting in utopian deadlines,” Prof. Gyampo said in a Facebook post.

“Who authorized the Controller and Accountant General to give that ultimatum and who is the Controller and Accountant General to issue such orders to those whose toil, he enjoys? Are we his children? The era, when those who fed on tax payers’ money, treated tax payers like small boys and girls, is gone. Even the President, the Commander in Chief of Ghana’s Armed Forces does not and cannot command public sector workers like this,” he added.

According to him, the directive is inconsiderate owing to the stress one has to go through in order to acquire a Ghana Card.

He lauded the concept behind a universal national identification card but stressed that the implementation of the policy is leading to suspicion in government’s actions.

“The very order, ignores the fact that it takes time for one to procure the Ghana Card. The Ghana Card is not sold at the supermarket. People still have challenges in producing source documents for the identification leading to registration for the Card. Any public official who is ignorant about some of these difficulties isn’t fit to occupy any position of fiduciary trust.

“The idea of having a National Identity Card that captures all our data is a superb idea that must be owned by all. But policy ownership cannot be forced and imposed, else it creates suspicions about governmental intentions behind such policies. Unfortunately, it appears there is some tacit force to compel all Ghanaians to acquire the Ghana Card at all cost. There was an exercise to register all SIM Cards in Ghana. But for whatever reasons, we are all being asked to re-register again, now using the Ghana Card as a proof of identification. Whiles battling this, we are now, the Controller and Accountant General akatsi [sic] want to tie the Card to our pay in a manner that creates all sort [sic] of ideas in the minds of people,” he stated.

Pointing out a public failure in buying into the Ghana Card concept, Prof. Gyampo said government should among other things address concerns raised about the exercise including documentation requirement for acquiring a Ghana Card.

“Clearly, the National Identification has also failed in getting total public buy-in into the idea of everyone getting the Ghana Card. The way to address such failure, is not to force and stampede the public into getting the Card at all cost. Rather, there should be well-thought through solutions about some of the challenges raised with the source documents for registering for the Card.

“In addition, there should be a revival of the currently collapsed public education about registration for the Card, to socialize the public about the need for it, rather than giving arrogant and authoritative deadlines for acquisition, which would be honored in breach, by the already agitated public servants, who are considering the option of joining forces together to fight for better conditions of service, and bring about a certain disruption that creates a classless society, and ensure social equilibrium interns of salaries,” he added.

The directive by government’s payroll manager has caused disaffection among public sector workers including the Ghana National Association of Teachers who have described the directive as draconian.

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