No Ghana Card, No Pay
– Public Sector Workers Told, As Controller Moves To Clear Ghost Names
The National Identification Authority (NIA) has given a 10-day window of opportunity to all government sector workers who are yet to acquire their Ghana Card to do so in order not to lose their salaries.
The directive follows a request by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department to the NIA to offer these workers this last chance to acquire their cards, which will be at no cost to them.
“The 10-day registration exercise will focus exclusively on the said Public Sector Workers who will be applying for the Ghana Card for the first time. All such prospective applicants will be required to provide their July 2023 Pay slips, in addition to meeting the mandatory registration requirements. NIA will only accept and use for the registration the name of the Public Sector Worker as captured on the July 2023 Pay slip of an applicant,” the Authority said.
Among others, The Anchor gathered, the move is to ensure that these workers are enrolled fully onto the Controller’s biometric payroll system and also rid it of ghost names.
The Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Ken Attafuah, who gave the ultimatum, said he cannot tell what may happen to those who will refuse to heed to their directive, but encouraged everyone to take it seriously.
“The Controller and Accountant-General requested us to make available to these public sector employees on government of Ghana payroll, a special window of opportunity for them to register. That is what we have done.
“We suspect that part of the intention of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department is to get rid of ghost names on government payroll which will inure to the benefit of all of us as a country. And again, I think that it may introduce frustrations or difficulties for those who are public sector workers on government payroll but who elect not to go get the Ghana Card because you need the Ghana Card to be enrolled on to the Controller and Accountant-General’s biometric payroll system (you must be verified on that system) in order that your bona fides are established and you can get your pay,” he said.
Prof.Attafuah, who said this in Accra on Friday, August 25,stressed that it is important that the workers who, for various reasons, have not acquired their cards to take the opportunity to do as so that names that have no business being on the payroll are removed.
“Ghosts don’t work and they don’t deserve to be paid with your taxpayer’s money and mine,” he concluded.
For decades, government’s payroll has been infested with ghost names, making the state lose up to GHc100million every year to “ghosts.”
According to a report on Government Waste Report 2022, issued by the Institute of Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILPI), the Ghana Education Service (GES) payroll alone had 2,913 ghost names, after staff auditing in 2015.
“Approximately GH100 million is lost annually to payroll fraud,” the report said.
The workers therefore have up from Monday, August 28 to September 8, to do the needful, by securing their cards for smooth payment of their salaries.
Meanwhile, the NIA has also announced plan to restart the registration and issuance of its cards to Ghanaians aged 15 years and above, who are first-time applicants, at no cost to them.
This is after the Authority received some 484,000 blank cards from its technical partners.
“The resumption of this registration exercise has become possible due to NIA’s receipt of 484,000 blank cards from its technical partners, Identity Management Systems II Limited (IMS II) and CalBank PLC, following an initiative by the Ministry of Finance. By this development, eligible Ghanaians who have not yet registered for the Ghana Card can do so,” the NIA has said.
The exercise will be carried out in two phases, beginning Monday, August 28, when registration will be reserved exclusively for public sector workers.
The service will be offered to these applicants at eight out of NIA’s 16 regional offices and all 276 district offices nationwide.
The NIA, in a statement, said regional offices where the specified service will not be available are Sunyani – Bono Region; Techiman – Bono East Region; Ho – Volta Region; Kumasi – Ashanti Region; Koforidua – Eastern Region; Tamale – Northern Region; Takoradi – Western Region, and Sefwi Wiawso – Western North Region.
The second phase “will begin on Monday, 11th September 2023 for all Ghanaians aged 15 years and above who have not yet applied for the Ghana Card. While at it, other Ghanaians who wish to replace their lost, stolen or damaged Ghana Cards or to correct their names or dates of birth may do so in accordance with law at any of the NIA’s 286 Operational Offices nationwide offering the free registration,” the NIA added.
It further urged qualified Ghanaian citizens who are yet to register for the Ghana Card to take advantage of the opportunity “as the Ghana Card serves as the sole mandatory document for the identification of citizens seeking to engage in various commercial transactions or to access a wide range of public and private services in Ghana.”
As part of the exercise, a special mobile service has also been initiated for households with five or more members who wish to acquire the Ghana Card to bring the NIA team home to be registered at a fee
This service allows households with five or more Ghanaians and organisations with 50 or more Ghanaians to request registration services at a specified home or location at a fee.
The Household Registration will cost GH¢150.00 per applicant, while the Institutional Registration costs GH¢100.00 per applicant, along with logistics fees.