Franklin Cudjoe, president and founder of IMANI Africa, has questioned why the Electoral Commission of Ghana won’t let the National Identification Authority (NIA) handle the 2024 election if the Ghana Card, the authority’s card, must be the only document needed to register voters.

He says that the best thing to do is to let the NIA manage the elections, according to the justification provided by the commission regarding the requirement to only use the Ghana Card to register voters.

On March 1, 2023, the IMANI boss suggested in a series of tweets that the NIA managing the election would make sure that only eligible voters were registered.

He went on to say that if the NIA is given permission to hold the elections, it would not only guarantee that only eligible voters would be permitted to participate in the process, but it would also save the nation millions of Ghana cedi.

“An idea is here. The National Identification Authority (NIA) Card is, in the opinion of the Electoral Commission (EC), the only foolproof ID that every Ghanaian needs to be registered on the voter roll.

“In fact, the NIA card was used by 10 million of the 13.2 million voters who cast ballots in the most recent election. Therefore, why not permit the NIA to manage the elections without the EC? With their verification devices, NIA officers can be deployed.

“After all the NIA card has each holder’s biometric subtleties and required profile like age, sex, occupation, and so on. Only people who are at least 18 years old will be able to use the system.

“We will be saving at least GHS 700 million out of a possible budget of GHS 1.5 billion for the EC to manage the elections. In addition, we stand to save millions of dollars that the EC might suggest are required to upgrade their biometric verification systems, according to the tweets he shared.

Jean Mensa, who is in charge of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, urged members of Parliament to back the commission’s decision to use the Ghana Card as the primary form of identification when registering new voters.

She says this is very important because of how elections are changing.

“Honorable members, in this vein, we urge you to support the EC’s decision to rely on the Ghana card as the primary form of identification for voters registering as voters. She said, “Our country has changed, so it’s important that our electoral system changes to meet the needs of the times.”

During her appearance in Parliament, Jean Mensa gave a presentation to the committee of the whole on the contentious proposed Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) that, if passed, would make the Ghana Card the only form of identification that could be used to guarantee citizenship.