The Weija Leprosarium’s administration and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia worked together to make it easier for the facility’s recovered lepers to register for and obtain the Ghana Card, the country’s national identity system.
Dr. Bawumia claims that in order to foster national cohesion and comprehensive development, the government is determined to make sure that no one is left behind, regardless of their circumstances or status.
Residents were walked through the process by representatives of the National Identification Authority, under the direction of Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Executive Secretary, from data and biometric capture to verification and card issue. To the surprise of their coworkers, Dr. Bawumia presented the first four cards to their owners with a smile.
Speaking to the Leprosarium’s administration, personnel, and residents, Dr. Bawumia said that everyone should be registered and in possession of a Ghana Card because it will soon be the only legally recognized form of identification for at least 17 different interactions with the government and other public institutions.
“As Fr Campbell (head of the Leprosarium) has said, there was a sense that as the issuance of the Ghana Card was going on, the cured lepers were being left out, and they have not been able to get access to the issuance of the card. So I was able to make arrangements through the Executive Secretary to get the NIA to come register and issue them the cards.
“As you all know, the Ghana Card is going to be a very important card for all Ghanaians and residents in Ghana. It is going to be key in our interactions with Government and all other institutions, so it is very important that everybody gets included in the issuance of the Ghana Card. We don’t want anybody to be left out. So today we want to make sure that the cured lepers, as a group, are also included.
“This registration is taking place in Weija today, but we are going to make sure that we extend this very quickly to the residents of all the other leprosaria across the country so they also get registered and get issued with Ghana Cards,” Dr Bawumia pledged.
“What is very important to note is that the law prescribes that you have many mandatory requirements as far as the usage of the Ghana card is concerned. There are 17 things that are specified by law that you will need the Ghana card to do including banking, business registration, passport, jobs, health and so on. It so critical, that is why we are making sure that everyone has the opportunity to legitimately acquire a Ghana card,” he added.
In response to worries that the people might not be able to produce fingerprints for registration, Prof Attafuah clarified that the NIA records fingerprints, the face, the iris, and the ears throughout the registration process. As a result, the other properties can be utilized to confirm the card’s legitimacy.