NIA officials desert registration centres in Eastern Region Featured

By Kwasi Frimpong and Mudasiru Abdul Yakeen March 17, 2020 2435 1035 comments

Officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) have deserted some registration centres in the ongoing Ghana Card registration exercise in the Eastern Region.

The exercise, which started on March 4, was scheduled to end on March 27. However, a visit to certain registration centres yesterday showed that they had been deserted.

Though some registrants had queued to go through the process, there was no sight of registration officials.

Registration continues

It is not clear why the NIA officials took this decision, especially given that a prior statement released by the Authority had said the registration must continue.

The statement, signed by ACI Francis Palmdeti, head of corporate affairs at the NIA, said, “The mass registration exercise currently ongoing in the Eastern Region will continue under specific guidelines.”

The guidelines stipulate, among other things, that supervising officers must ensure that no more than 25 people, including field officials, are present at a registration centre at any given time. They must also take particulars of applicants immediately they arrive at a centre; and call them to attend a registration centre on a specific date and at a particular time, giving each applicant an appointment.

Other guidelines include instructions to officers to wipe the iris scanners used by individual applicants before administering them to the next applicant and ensuring that applicants keep a social distance of two metres while at a registration centre.

The statement said the NIA would make every reasonable effort to provide gloves to all field officials who enroll or issue Ghana Cards to applicants.

All field officials have also been directed to adhere strictly to the protocols spelled out by the President and Ministry of Health, to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

“All field officials are entreated to remain calm as the authority observes the situation for any further directives,” the statement said.

Kwahu Easter cancelled

In a related development, Kwahu Traditional Council has suspended the 2020 Kwahu Easter celebrations and related activities indefinitely in reponse to the coronavirus threat.

A statement issued by the traditional council yesterday said the directive is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The statement further said official appointments and visits to various palaces in Kwahu have also been cancelled except where “they are extremely necessary”.

“All public engagements by Nananom within the Kwahu Traditional Council are cancelled. Akwasidae should be celebrated with minimal contacts and restricted to indoor traditional ceremonies,” the statement ordered.

Among the roll-out measures issued, the chiefs and people of Kwahuman are to desist from travelling and suspend one-week rites for the dead.

Schools closed, gatherings suspended

The government yesterday closed all schools, from basic to tertiary level, following the confirmation of six cases of COVID-19 in the country.

President Akufo-Addo said in a televised address that all public gatherings, including church services, funerals and prayers at the mosque, had been suspended until further notice.

“After deliberations, I have decided, in the interest of public safety and protection of our population, to review the public gatherings advisories earlier announced.

“All public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as [at] churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four weeks. Private burials are permitted, but with limited numbers not exceeding 25 in attendance,” the President said.

Preventive measures

Meanwhile, establishments such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and drinking spots have been ordered to observe enhanced hygiene procedures by providing hand sanitisers, running water and soap for washing hands, among other facilities.

The Ministry of Transport has also been directed to work with the transport unions and private and public transport operators to ensure enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and at all terminals.

The President has further directed the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to co-ordinate with the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to enhance conditions of hygiene at markets across the country.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 16:45


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