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Opinions of Saturday, 15 January 2011

Columnist: Avornyo, Bright Selasie Yao

Accept students’ identity cards in your dealings

The year 2011 cannot begin without letting the President and who it may concern
know how frustrating it is when a student presents an identity card to
authenticate a business transaction and the student is denied.

On the 24th of December, 2010, I went to Osu branch of the Ghana Commercial Bank
(GCB) to cash a Pesewa to celebrate the Christmas on the 25th and also for
pocket money.

To be frank in telling my story, I had no other money on the 24th apart from two
Ghanaian cedis (GHC2.00) and intended to top it up before 25th in order to avert
being denied on the Christmas holiday. I went to the bank and waited for about
forty five minutes long before it got to my turn to cash.
When I got to the cashier, I presented my withdrawal leaflet to her. As soon she
saw it, she asked me to present an Identity Card. Luckily; I had my student’s
identity card on me so I presented it. Then the cashier, a woman, said a
national ID (either voters ID or Passport, she said) and not a student’s ID.

I stood surprised because I could not understand and pleaded that I had none of
the IDs she mentioned. Then she said that the order came from above so I should
report to their operations manager.

When I got to the operations manager, I introduce myself as Bright Selasie, a
student of Ghana Institute of Journalism in Accra, and from Volta Region. And I
narrated to her that I had wanted to withdraw money and presented my student’s
ID but was denied and asked to come and see her.
The operations manageress, who is old enough to be my biological mother said NO
to me a poor boy. I thought she was joking so I stood beside her and tried to
explain to her that I had ever cashed money without the so called national IDs
she mentioned at University of Ghana branch and Kwame Nkrumah Circle branch of
the same GCB. Even if they requested for my ID and I do not make it available,
they only check on the computer for my photograph. But this woman still hardened
her heart and completely denied me not only my own money, but the united
celebration. Honestly speaking, she told me that there was nothing she could do.

I waited for about five minutes only to realize that the woman had no intention
of attending to me. I still mustered some courage and asked which types of ID
the bank was after. She started counting: driving license, voter ID Passport
etc. Then I angrily said but I wasn’t a driver and she also looked at me with

Mr. President and whoever is concerned, please tell me, is the student’s ID not
valuable? Meanwhile, on my ID card it is written boldly that “This card is
recognized by the Police, Government Agencies and Public Authorities.”
Please, to whoever is responsible, put in the right measures to prevent this
inhumane happenings. I am sure this cruel behavior is everywhere and not only in
Osu GCB branch.

Comrade Bright Selasie Yao Avornyo