It appears that the top management of the National Identification Authority (NIA) has failed to reach an agreement with its field staff leadership in a meeting ahead of the nationwide mop-up registration exercise.
Apparently, the field staff leadership had wanted a special package for all the field workers who will have to risk their lives for the mop-up exercise amid increasing cases of Coronavirus.
However, Munites from the meeting held on Saturday, June 6, 2020, has revealed that the authority under the leadership of Professor Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah has no special stimuli packages for its ambulatory staff who are going to put their lives at risk of COVID-19 when the mop-up registration exercise start.
The nationwide mop-up registration exercise for the Ghana card is expected to commence later this month after the issuance of already printed cards exercise is completed in all the sixteen (16)regions.
Read the full munites of the meeting held yesterday below;
FALL OUTS AT THE MEETING BETWEEN FIELD STAFF LEADERSHIP/MANAGEMENT, NIA.
Date: 5th June 2020.
The meeting started at 10 am with an introduction by Head of Administration (HOA), the purpose and agenda led by Eric Agyarkoh Konney for and on behalf of Field Staff Leadership.
It was made known to us that the Executive Secretary, ES had minuted on our letter requesting for an audience with him to the HOA to meet us in his stead.
Some of the concerns put out in our letter included;
• Roadmap for the continuation of Eastern region and planned mop up exercise in other regions.
• The Safety Precautionary Measures to deploy.
• The Security Implications and Measures.
• The need for Renewed Contracts.
• Public sensitisation strategy.
• The risk factors as ‘frontliners’ and Incentive/Insurance package.
• The status of SSNIT contribution and some payment deductions.
• What the plan is to allow field officials register with the EC while on field in order not to be
To begin with the Head of Administration on behalf of management extended condolences to bereaved families of field officials who passed on in the course of the exercise and went ahead to address the various concerns and issues raised.
It was indicated that the distribution and issuance of printed 3.8 million cards to applicants begins tentatively on the 8th of June, 2020 and expected to last till the 17th June,2020 and that District Registration Officers (DROs) were tasked to find out the availability of field registration officials (SROs,ROs,RAs), a circular to this effect, targeted at these persons but not meant for other field officials was sent .
Touching on the subject matter Head of Operations, Col. Peter Kwame Ghansah (Rtd), revealed that a new module, photo album identification, was going to be used for the card distribution which would not involve CVOs as has been the normal practice.
Alhaji Abdulai Salifu, Dep. Head of Operations, remarked that no conclusive decision had been taken on the mode of issuance.
Card distribution module to be deployed is relatively new and an expedited system of verification is going to be used.
Meanwhile, June 18th is the official date for work to resume in the Eastern region. The exercise is expected to last 10 days, thus ending on the 29th June, 2020 all things being equal.
Responding to Safety Precautionary Measures Alhaji, made it known that Procurement of PPEs (Face masks, Face shields, sanitizers, Veronica buckets, wipes among others) were being procured.
He mentioned that training had been received by the authority on safety precautions to be enforced and a comprehensive tutorial on safety protocols would be made available to officials online for easy access. It was concluded that it is impractical to have mass testing of field officials as was the experts advice.
Mr. Baffoe in his response assured that education on social distancing and safety protocols on the side of applicants would be intensified with a no mask no entry policy enforced across all registration centres.
Again there will be a collaboration with district health directorates to ensure strict compliance with outlined measures as well as swift response in the unlikely event of a suspected case.
After advancing our argument on the need to make provision in ensuring enhanced security protection by leadership, taking into account how volatile the period is ahead of a general election and how comments by political actors have heightened tensions, Mr Baffoe, acknowledged the importance of security presence and remarked that appropriate actions will be taken to ensure officials are safe on the field.
Speaking to the issues of contracts, HOA, assured that new contracts will be issued for the next period of engagement once Operations get the list of officials available for deployment as we reiterated the need for not only a renewed but also a timely issuance of appointment letters.