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The 2015 Auditor General’s report has revealed that the National Identification Authority (NIA) is heavily indebted to the tune of GH¢4, 132,795.00.
The Management of the Authority were therefore admonished to “make efforts to settle the liabilities” and also operate henceforth within “actual income received in future.”
The Authority was also cited for illegally using its Internally Generated fund to offset loan facility it acquired from CAL Bank.
According to the report, Management of the Authority arranged with CAL Bank to retain funds generated internally by it to defray the loan facility of $1.5million taken from the Bank.
“As a result, a total of GHC1, 612,322.35 was retained from the IGF by the bank during the period under review as part settlement of the loan without parliamentary approval,” said the report.
The report, therefore urged the Authority to seek retrospective approval from parliament.
NIA per the report in partnership with Identity Management Systems Limited obtained a loan facility of $1,500,000.00 from CAL Bank to be used to upgrade the Central System Hardware to enhance instant issuance of Ghana cards. The loan was, however, not recorded in the books of accounts of the Authority.
About the NIA
The NIA was set up in 2003 under the Office of the President with the mandate to issue national ID cards and manage the National Identification System (NIS). This resulted in the passing of the National Identification Authority Act, 2006 (Act 707) to give it the necessary legal premises on which to operate. The National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) was also passed to give authorisation for collection of personal and biometric data and to ensure the protection of privacy and personal information of enrollees.
It is mandated to establish a national data centre and manage a national database, set up a system to collect, process, store, retrieve and disseminate personal data on the population (Ghanaian citizens – both resident and non-resident, and legally and permanently resident foreign nationals), ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of such data, and to issue and promote the use of national identity cards in Ghana. It is also to make data in its custody available to persons or institutions authorized by law to access the data.
The NIA seeks to facilitate the integration of all public sector/ civil operation, law enforcement, corporate and business applications/systems to the National Identification System, and the provision of general identification services. The setting up of the National Identification System is in response to providing up-to-date data that will facilitate the nation’s development agenda.