Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia in collaboration with management of the Weija Leprosarium has facilitated the enrolment onto and acquisition of the national identification system, the Ghana Card, for cured lepers at the facility.
According to Dr Bawumia, this is further evidence of Government’s determination to ensure that no one is left behind irrespective of their status or circumstances, in order to engender national cohesion and holistic development.
Officials of the National Identification Authority, led by Prof Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Executive Secretary, guided the residents through the process, from data and biometric capture, verification to issuance of the card. A smiling Dr Bawumia handed over the first four cards to their owners, to the delight of their colleagues.
Addressing the management, staff and residents of the Leprosarium, Dr Bawumia explained that the Ghana Card would soon become the only source of accepted identification, backed by law, for at least 17 different interactions with Government and other public institutions, and it is important that everyone is registered and has a Ghana Card.
It is going to be key in our interactions with Government and all other institutions, so it is very important that everybody gets included in the issuance of the Ghana Card
“As Fr Campbell (head of the Leprosarium) has said, there was a sense that as the issuance of the Ghana Card was going on, the cured lepers were being left out, and they have not been able to get access to the issuance of the card. So I was able to make arrangements through the Executive Secretary to get the NIA to come register and issue them the cards.
“As you all know, the Ghana Card is going to be a very important card for all Ghanaians and residents in Ghana. It is going to be key in our interactions with Government and all other institutions, so it is very important that everybody gets included in the issuance of the Ghana Card. We don’t want anybody to be left out. So today we want to make sure that the cured lepers, as a group, are also included.
“This registration is taking place in Weija today, but we are going to make sure that we extend this very quickly to the residents of all the other leprosaria across the country so they also get registered and get issued with Ghana Cards,” Dr Bawumia pledged.
“What is very important to note is that the law prescribes that you have many mandatory requirements as far as the usage of the Ghana card is concerned. There are 17 things that are specified by law that you will need the Ghana card to do including banking, business registration, passport, jobs, health and so on. It so critical, that is why we are making sure that everyone has the opportunity to legitimately acquire a Ghana card,” he added.
Responding to concerns that the residents may not be able to provide fingerprints for the registration, Prof Attafuah explained that the NIA captures fingerprints, the face, iris and ears in the registration process. Thus, the other features can be used to verify the authenticity of the card.