Written by: Prince
Published: 19 August 2019
Prince Eli writes....
NIA REGISTRATIONS, VOLTA REGION AS A TEST TUBE?
Dear Prof Ken Attafuah,
I hardly write official letters, so I will succinctly keep my letter in an embryonic state of grammar, I believe that will make it informal to your formal self as you read the test tube case of the Volta Region
I’ll start with the comments of Fo Atsu from Takla an ardent listener of KUUL 103.5 FM, Ho….
‘…. After all the taxes we pay, the State cannot make it convenient for us to get an identity as Ghanaians?... What would it have caused the state if it used monies to get more registration centers to limit the unending queues ?.... Why deny us the chance to have an identity?
In my practice as host of morning shows over the last 5years, the NIA registrations is one of the few issues that got unrepentant serial callers of both the ruling NPP and opposition NDC agreeing that the process was not fair.
Ever since I hosted you on the 11th of July 2019 my personal phone, my producer’s and our studio lines received not less than 5 calls a day. These calls varied from complaints of late start of work, purported shortage of registrations forms, to demand for monies from registrants before registration forms are filled .
We at Kuul Fm have over the years served as a medium of transfer of many complaints for redress but such wasn’t the case in the NIA Registration as there was absolutely no one to speak to. We have called the National PRO ; Mr. Francis Pamldet (ACI), more than we had ever called any public relations officer. He responded once to our call on a lucky Thursday and to the innumerable that he cared less to return, the least said about them the better. In his ‘On air’ interview with us, he discounted the many concerns we had raised through our listeners and visits to the registration centers. The obvious ones of network failures he posited will be addressed.
Mr. Pamdetti indicated again in that interview that the average number of registrations to be completed at each center was 120 because each center should have 3 registration set ups, registering an average of 40 people. He however failed to mention a center that had met the 120 average target a day. Indeed the checks we run indicated that less than 90 people are registered a day. I wondered whether he was reading from a book written in his air-conditioned office far away in the National Capital or rendered a true account of the many struggles of a registrant.
The challenges were indeed innumerable; starting from the hijacking of the Out Patient Department of Ho PolyClinic by registration officers to the contribution of 5gh each by registrants at Adaklu Dave, to the death of another in Akatsi North.
Yes a death was recorded from an exercise that should have been stress free but for the ‘god’ nature of some officers. It is devasting to see pictures of the many other registrants who spent 5 nights keeping vigil at registration centers just to secure an identity card. The many mosquito bites and being drenched by early morning dew , might certainly result in some visits to the clinic; another preventable cost to the suffering National Health Insurance Scheme. The numbers that kept Vigil cannot be overemphasized, I counted more than 100 people at 4am at 4 different centers in Ho awaiting registration officers who will arrive 3 hours later only to attend to about 70 people, who have defied all odds and won many fights. This certainly sounds quite gross and unfair.
I still struggle to understand what lessons have been learnt from the exercise in Greater Accra as the director puts it. It will not be far fetched to say that no lessons have been learnt but people of Oti should not suffer the same ‘unlearning’ feat.
Prof on the KUUL Morning Show said the registration target is 85% of population above 15 years but was unable to mention the number of centers and locations designated for the exercise. He explained that the process of gazzetting these centers was underway which my listeners found rather strange. This list was released less than two days before the start of registration on the 22nd of July 2019(the reduction in registration date from 22nd July to 14 July was also announced a week before the exercise started) with many changes and reduction in registration centres without adequate public announcements. This certainly left people very confused.
And to further compound the confusion of many, the NCCE Director in the Volta Region asserted that there will be 350 registration centres across the region to achieve the 85% target.
A simple arithmetic will show that for the 19 days, only 798, 0000, people will be registered if the theoretical average of 120 registrations per day is even achieved. Volta Region has 1,305427 of its population above 15 years, this implies that about 303,612 will not be registered at the end of the entire exercise. Are they the many who kept Vigil yet were ignored by the many protocols, sex and bribery allegations?
Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, we were denied a month’s registration we complained but were harshly ignored and given an excuse of a ‘backup’ during the last week. May I humbly ask whether you knew that there will be 2 Public holidays reducing the 21 days to 19? What was the remedy?
Did your registration officers understand the value of respect in the Volta Region? The gust and arrogance with which they carried out this national assignment, leaves much to be desired. They need some lessons from ‘courtesy for boys and girls’ to be aware that they had inform the many registrants when they faced challenges especially the unending network failure. We tout ourselves as practitioners of decentralization, may you involve assembly members and opinion leaders in the process so that they better disseminate relevant information.
I end here wishing my grandmother, producer;Emefa Kings and the many pregnant women and aged who were never given preferential treatment as you promised all the best in the next year as regional centers are opened. Lest I forget; may the gentle soul of Fiamey Dzatugbui who died for the love of mother Ghana rest in perfect peace. To console her 4 children may there be a naming ceremony(clinic where she was confirmed dead) organised by Hon. Dr. Amuzu Sodoke; DCE for Akasti North on behalf of His Excellency in her honour.I cannot sign out without saying a word on my admiration of your beer glass from that coded location from which you gulped a bottle of chilled Origin while pregnant women stood under terrible weather conditions to get the famous Ghana Card. May you not forget to tell us after your nice time there that the people could still register after the mass registration exercise.