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China tops foreigners with Ghana card

China is the nation where the most non-citizen National Identity cards are issued, according to the National Identification Authority (NIA) (Ghana card).

In response to a query from the Ghana News Agency, Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Executive Secretary, NIA, made this statement at a press conference in Accra on Friday to commemorate this year’s International Identity Day.

This is in light of the recent controversy surrounding the re-entry into the country of Huang En, also known as Aisha Huang, a Chinese citizen with a non-citizen card who was expelled in 2018 over allegations of illicit mining.

Having 34,712 cards totaling 22 percent of the 161,007 foreign citizens from 202 nations, China has the highest percentage of citizens with non-citizen Ghana cards.

With a total of 25,873 cards, Nigerians made up the second-largest group of card holders with non-citizen status in Ghana, while 20,110 card holders were Indian nationals.

According to data released by NIA, 4,329 Germans received cards, followed by 4,324 Lebanese, 4,133 United Kingdom (UK), 3,194 South African, 2,222 Cote D’Ivoire, 2,150, and 1,958 Gabonese.

As of September 15, 2022, a total of 17,163,081 people had been enrolled onto the NIA system, with 16,627,326 cards printed and 15,869,026 cards issued, according to Prof Attafuah, who provided an update on the number of cards issued throughout the nation thus far.

The Authority, according to the Executive Secretary, has put in place a reliable mechanism to check all cards used by Ghanaians to conduct banking transactions with banks and to check non-citizens who would use the card to open or renew a bank account, apply for a residence permit, or both.

Prof. Attafuah urged African nations to step up efforts to ensure that citizens had legal identities in honor of International Identity Day in order to promote social, economic, and political inclusion.

He pledged that the nation will take no chances in making the Ghana card “the sole source of proof,” stating that the Authority had since January 2021 implemented a verification system that required banks to confirm the identity of cardholders for a variety of transactions.

If you visit the bank with or without your Ghana card, the bank can still verify your identification using your fingerprint as part of KYC (Know Your Customer) and provide you with a service, according to Prof. Attafuah.

The Executive Secretary made a suggestion that NIA will begin registering Ghanaians living abroad in November 2022 and launch a campaign to register youngsters in the nation between the ages of four and 15 in December 2022.

According to Prof. Attafuah, registration for the card for refugees would begin the next week.

He added that all 275 district offices of the NIA as well as the 16 designated regional offices would likewise implement continuous registration.

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