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General News of Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Source: GNA

National Identification exercise encountering difficulties-Aspiring MP

Winneba (C/R) July 8 GNA- The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for Effutu, Mr Mike Allen Hammah, on Monday said, the problems facing national identification exercise must be solved immediately to ensure its success.

He said the exercise would form the bases of statistics as well as the bedrock of any meaningful economic planning for the development of the country.

"It is therefore necessary that the present difficulties be solved immediately for everyone to register to ensure its success. Mr Hammah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Winneba, after touring most of the registration centres in the Municipal on Monday.

He said most of the centres he visited were encountering some problems with most people complaining about lapses the exercise. Mr Hammah said his visits to the Fire Service, Anglican, Nusekyire, Roman school; District Assembly, Tofohene and Zongo Centres revealed that, some residents who went there as early as 0400 hours on Monday were still in the queue as at 1400 hours.

He was not happy that most people who got to the Centre as early as 0600 hours could not register before the close of work at 1700 hours. According to him most people who joined the long queue for several hours were not registered because they could not produce any identification card to testify that they were Ghanaians.

Mr Hammah said he also noticed that most of the people who left the centre did not return again, adding that "if they had been educated to bring along any card or documents that could testify their nationality, things could have been very easy for them".

He appealed for an extension of the exercise in the Central Region because of the problems being faced, to enable every one in the area to register.

Mr Hammah said the slow pace of the exercise is discouraging most people from registering, adding that, it takes one person about 45 minutes to get registered.

He suggested that a special arrangement be made with school authorities to enable them to register their pupils, and that, efforts must also be made to register patients at the hospitals.

Mr Hammah said the exercise was an important one and must not be rushed, adding that, more registration officers be recruited to speed up the programme.

He suggested that the Information Service Department should use its publicity vans to educate the public on the exercise.

Registration officers at the various centres have refused to talk to reporters, claiming that they have cautioned not to talk to the media.

At Breman Asikuma, Brakwa, Beedum, Jamera and Odoben in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa district, most of the residents the GNA spoke to called for an extension of the programme to ensure that everyone gets registered.

They told the GNA on Monday that the slow pace of the exercise is very discouraging. 8 July 08