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Controller and Account General suspends “No GhanaCard, No salary” directive

A directive by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to all public sector workers to obtain National Identification Authority (NIA) cards (Ghana Card) or forfeit their salaries by December 1, 2021, has been suspended.

The decision to suspend, which was taken on Tuesday, October 19, means the identities of government workers at the CAGD will be ported onto the National Identification Authority (NIA) platform and thereafter, all unregistered from various institutions will be informed.

According to the state-owned Daily Graphic, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Ministry of Finance, the CAGD and the leadership of organised labour came to the conclusion after a meeting prompted by public concerns.

The CAGD had warned that public sector workers who do not possess a National Identification Authority (NIA) identity card (Ghana Card) risk not being paid salaries starting December 1, 2021.

“Please note that effective December 1, 2021, workers on the government of Ghana payroll who have not registered with the NIA will not be paid,” the CAGD noted in a statement issued on Tuesday, October 12.

According to the department, the move formed part of the government’s efforts “to deliver secured and verified payroll services to public workers and pensioners while reducing the risk of undeserving payments or claims.”

The department has indicated that it was working together with NIA to have a harmonized database to facilitate in the public notice stated the registration of government workers.

It, therefore, urged all existing and prospective government workers to ensure that they were registered with the NIA and have obtained their unique identity numbers to avoid missing receiving their salary payments.

In a later press release, the CAGD said it was not backing down from the decision.

There had been agitations by a section of government workers and unions since the department issued the directive with some asking the CAGD to reconsider the directive and withdraw it completely or have the deadline extended.

Mr Cephas Narh Dosso, the Head of Public Relations at CADG had reaffirmed the Department’s directive saying it was the best way to address challenges in its payroll system.

He explained that Section 8(4) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), mandated the CAGD to, among other functions, receive, disburse and provide secured custody for public funds.

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