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NIA registration an essential service and it must go on – Minister

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The Eastern regional minister Eric Kwakye Daffour has justified the continuous registration exercise by the National Identification Authority (NIA) despite the Presidential directive against public gathering in the wake of coronavirus saying it is an essential service.

According to him, the exercise is a public gathering that can be controlled.

“In my view it is an essential service and must go on,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban.

He added: “ It is a public gathering that can be controlled”.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to immediately suspend the ongoing mass registration exercise in the Eastern region.

A statement by the GMA stated that in the “interest of Public Health and Safety, the GMA calls on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to suspend with immediate effect the ongoing mass registration exercise in the Eastern region.”

According to the GMA, the decision to proceed with the mass registration exercise defeats the spirit and letter of the directives issued by the President as part of measures to combat the COVID-19 spread in the country.

Though the National Identification Authority, on Monday, March 16, 2020, directed all Supervising Registration Officers (SROs) to allow only twenty-five (25) persons including its officials at a registration center in a given time, Starr News observation in most of the centers in the region indicate that the directive is not being adhered too.

Again, there are no handwashing facilities and sanitizers available for both applicants and registration officials to use exposing them to high risk of being infected.

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The opposition National Democratic Congress on Tuesday also called on the NIA to stop the mass registration exercise in the Eastern region in order to protect applicants from the spread of coronavirus.

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