Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has revealed that there is an ongoing process to merge the 15 million Ghanaians on the National Identification database with that of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to offer employers a flexible opportunity to check the criminal records of employees or persons they plan to employ.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the move is to offer employers the opportunity to be able to employ persons of high repute. It is also geared at making the Ghana Card the unique identification record in the country. When completed, this would mean that the criminal record of over half the population can be accessed at the fingertips as the search can be easily done through the mobile phone.
“Going forward we are going to be linking the National ID with the criminal database to allow people to be able to check the criminal backgrounds on their mobile devices. In case you are employing a driver or anybody, you should be able to check the background of the person without going to the police headquarters and going through all of that process. Now, we want to digitize the whole process and once you have the national ID number, you should be able to get the background of that person.”
SIM card re-registration
He added that the process to re-register all SIM cards in the country is also aimed at enabling SIM cards to be merged with the Ghana Card for easy identification of all persons using mobile phones. “In the next few months, we would be linking SIM cards to the National ID. All the Mobile SIM cards that we have in the country would be linked to unique National ID numbers. Discussions are ongoing but it would happen this year.”
Ghana Card and banking
He further revealed that banks are also being roped into using the Ghana Card as the primary identification card for all their customers. “We would do same with bank accounts so that the verification needed in opening and operating a bank account would be linked to the National ID number. We would have every bank customer uniquely identified; that process would soon start.”
Ghana Card and CAGD
He said government is seriously working to take off ghost names from its payroll. As a result, there are frantic efforts at linking the Ghana Card to government payroll administrator, the Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) to ensure that the menace is dealt with.
“We are linking the National ID card to the Controller and Accountant Generals Department; this is where the government payroll is done. For many years we have been struggling with ghost workers on government payroll and once this is completed, we hope to make ghost names on government payroll history,” Dr. Bawumia said.
Already merged services
Already, the Ghana Card has been merged with Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT); National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA); a move which has seen an increase in the database of these institutions.
The hope is to ride on the back of the merger to increase government revenue and to provide better services to clients. The Vice President was speaking at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) as the keynote speaker.