Bawumia justifies ‘I will choose Ghana Card over 1,000 interchanges’ comment

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President Dr. Bawumia1212

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was under attack for declaring his preference for the Ghana Card over road interchanges in the country’s quest for development.null

While speaking at the launch of two new high-level information technology programmes at the Accra Business School at Baatsona in Accra, he explained that his preference for the national identification card, otherwise called the Ghana Card, is more beneficial than 1,000 interchanges.

He observed that some Ghanaians do not fully appreciate the digitalisation drive by the government but the government is poised to pursue the agenda as a vehicle to transform the economy.

“Some of the problems go back to independence. We inherited a problem of no unique national identification system. This has been with us since independence. We had implemented a national identification system for the Ghana Card.

“Today, we have 16 million Ghanaians with unique identities, and that is a major transformation. A lot of people sometimes do not appreciate its impact.null

“If you gave me 1000 interchanges and the Ghana Card, I would choose the Ghana Card because it has more impact,” Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said.

This comment, the Vice President noted, caused a furore among some sections of the public with some asking whether everything was ok with him.

But addressing participants at the Civil Service Awards ceremony on Friday, July 29, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia revisited his “I’ll choose Ghana card over 1,000 interchanges” comments again and tried to explain further.

“It seems my Ghana card statement was misinterpreted. I want people to think about it critically. For the first time in our history, we have a unique identity system which is biometric and so we can uniquely identify every individual whether they are alive or dead.null

“With this, the case of ghost names on our public sector system will become a thing of the past…at National Service Scheme we found 14,000 ghost workers saving annually 114 million Ghana cedis just from one institution because we look for unique identity. Just a couple of days ago SSNIT reported finding 27,000 ghost pensioners and they were being paid 327 million cedis a year.”

Ghana card

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo‘s administration relaunched the Ghana Card registration on Friday, September 15, 2017.

The card according to the government will serve as a unique identifier for both resident and non-resident Ghanaians as well permanently resident foreign nationals.null

Currently, the card serves as an electronic passport and SSNIT card with the Bank of Ghana also announcing that the card will be the only approved card for all bank transactions in the country.

The National Communication Authority (NCA), on the other hand, has asked citizens to re-register their SIM Cards with their Ghana Cards.

Ghana Card as E-passport

Dr. Bawumia recently announced that the roll-out of the Ghana Card fully met the requirements for an E-passport, despite a rejection by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).null

This claim was shot down by Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Foreign Affairs Minister.

She told Parliamentarians that the processes for the acceptance of the Ghana card as a source document for international travel have not been finalised yet.