Audio Attachment:Listen to Henry Bonney Quarshie, Consultant for the Street Naming and House Addressing Project, and Dr. William Ahadzi, Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), arguing out the pros and cons of the National Identification System.
Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA),Dr. William Ahadzi.
A Consultant for the Street Naming and House Addressing Project, Henry Bonney Quarshie, has posited that the National Identification System (NIS), is doomed to failure because of the fixation or the concentration on biometric data with less emphasis or inadequate information on biographic data.
Mr. Bonney Quarshie was of the view that because there is no existing and credible address system in the country, most Ghanaians do not know their house numbers, not to talk of street names.
“If the main function of your project is to provide proof of residency and proof of identity, you don’t concentrate on only the biometric which is proof of identity, and gather information which is unreliable, that is the proof of residency which you are currently being provided with,” he argued.
He strongly contended that “you cannot have a biometric data alone and say you are implementing a National Identification System (NIS)…besides criminals might also provide information which might not be reliable,” he stated.
The establishment of the National Identification System (NIS) will provide storage, protection and management of the identities of Ghanaians and other nationals resident in the country in a national population register. The NIS will help address national security matters, credit information, revenue collection, acquisition of passport and driving license, and registration of voters.
Other public service, delivery and human development activities such as registration of births, deaths and marriages, social security and the national health insurance system will be addressed by NIS. The information being gathered for the national data base system would assist the Police, Fire Service, Banks and various agencies in seeking information about Ghanaians.
"Safe & Secure"
Ghana Card; what the National ID Card will look like after the exercise.
Whiles admitting in an interview with Citifm that “Biometric data collection was very vital”, the consultant questioned how one can be identified and tied to a location as indicative of proof of residency.
But in sharp rebuttal, the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Dr. William Ahadzi, dismissed Mr. Quarshie’s concerns and pointed out that the consultant “clearly does not understand what the NIS is all about.”
Speaking on the same platform, Dr. Ahadzi agreed that the exercise may appear as rather confusing, but stressed that though there had been different forms of identification in the past, which had been easily duplicated, “this system is safe and secure.”
“Who says that if you base your identification system on address system, people don’t move (re-locate)? People move, so addresses change. Biometric data would not change, your finger print, mapping, architecture does not change even if you move from Ghana to Azerbaijan,” he said.
The NIA Executive Director insisted that identifying someone could be done easily as it does not matter what your address is once your biographic data is entered. He added that, the automated finger print information system would be used to generate a personal identification number which could be used to undertake any transaction.
“We would have loved to have an address system which will run concurrently with the identification system but we don’t have that,” he declared, adding that the consultant for Street Naming and House Addressing Project should not mislead the public.
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