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Halt SIM card reregistration now; consult further – Fmr. NIA boss to Gov’t

The former head of the National Identification Authority Dr William Ahadzie has called on the government to halt the ongoing SIM card re-registration and embark on further consultation.

According to him, it is not appropriate for telcos in the country to be allowed to undertake biometric enrolment of their customers.

It comes after the massive public anger over queues and delays associated with the reregistration process.

“In the ID world, it is advisable to build only one National biometric (civil) register.
In Ghana, the law allows only the NIA to establish a national BIOMETRIC Register and to share such biometric data with USER agencies under strict conditions (because of the high risk of identity theft ),” he said a statement Thursday.

He added: “Every individual with a phone who has a Ghanacard already has his/her biometrics captured by NIA and stored in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).  NIA is capable of generating data of all customers of the Telcos for identity verification and authentication. Many Ghanaians have multiple phone numbers with different Telcos. They are moving from one Telco to the other at great personal risk and cost”.

The exercise has been bedeviled with system downtime and other technical glitches.

Below are details of  Dr. Ahadzie’s write up

 

Dr. William Ahadzie writes:

Sim card registration is FAILING

I have still not understood why the Telcos have been permitted to undertake biometric enrolment of their customers. What it means is that each Telco will build a separate Biometric Register with a separate Server.
What is interesting is that the Ghanacard which is the only ID document to be used for the registration was acquired through biometric registration. The following facts are worth considering.

1. In the ID world, it is advisable to build only one National biometric (civil) register.
2. In Ghana, the law allows only the NIA to establish a national BIOMETRIC Register and to share such biometric data with USER agencies under strict conditions (because of the high risk of identity theft ).
3. Every individual with a phone who has a Ghanacard already has his/her biometrics captured by NIA and stored in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
4. NIA is capable of generating data of all customers of the Telcos for identity verification and authentication.
5. Many Ghanaians have multiple phone numbers with different Telcos. They are moving from one Telco to the other at great personal risk and cost.

So what really is the rationale for putting Ghanaians through new rounds of biometric registration in this era of the COVID pandemic.
For me, our public policymakers are demonstrating, lack of vision and poor collaborative work. The mandate overlaps are unnecessary and show a deliberate intent to impose hardship on citizens.

Government must halt this exercise NOW and undertake more consultation for purposes of using a better approach to SIM registration.
This exercise is failing.

riddimsghana

CEO of Riddims Network | Web Designer | Blogger | YouTuber | Promoter | MD at RiddimsGhana.com

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