Professor Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah, Executive Director of the National Identification Authority (NIA) has called on Ghanaians to be vanguards and champions in the protection of the boundaries of the country’s citizenship.
Professor Attafuah made the call at a media briefing as a prelude for the commencement of the mass registration of Ghanaians in the Volta region for the Ghana Card, in Ho.
He added, that long residency, marrying a Ghanaian or abiding by the laws of Ghana did not make a foreigner a Ghanaian and charged citizens to stop non Ghanaians from getting the Ghana Card.
He said aiding a foreigner to acquire the Ghana Card is a criminal offence, punishable by law.
Prof. Attafuah said the registration exercise in the region would commence on July 22 to August 22, this year, with 350 registration centres, strictly for Ghanaians residents in the 18 Municipal and District Assemblies.
He urged Ghanaians, especially the media, to report to the Authority and security officers, acts that may potentially compromise the conduct of the exercise.
“Report any request or giving of monies from applicants to us. Staff who commits such infractions will be punished according to law,” the Executive Director said.
He said a genuine birth certificate, valid passport and acquired citizenship, Ghana Post Digital residential address code or two registered relatives or community members may vouch for applicants under oath.
Mr. Attafuah said certified or regulated agencies or traceable people in public or civil service, practicing lawyers, gazetted chiefs, serving or retired clergy, security men and women, Members of Parliament, Assemblymen/women and Unit Committee Members could vouch for applicants.
He said there was no limit to how many persons one could vouch for but said the documents would be investigated to establish relationships between applicants and those vouching for them.
The Ghana Card is a dual interface card, which makes it a passport to ECOWAS countries, with tactile features for people with visual impairment.
It is valid for ten years and could be changed or renewed at a fee.