The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has disclosed that it should connect its systems to the National Identification Authority (NIA) for a common card, by next year (2019).

As a result, the Trust has stopped the issuing of biometric cards to its contributors.

The Director General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang explained that the decision to hook unto the NIA’s systems was to reduce the multiplicity of data by various government agencies.

Already, the NIA is embarking on a pilot registration of residents of Adenta, while that of La Nkwantanang and Madina is expected to begin on December 3, 2018.

Dr. Ofori Tenkorang was delighted the addition of biometric data of nominees or beneficiaries in the new system will bring some respite.

“SSNIT has taken a decision to stop issuing biometric cards; we currently do it for pensioners and those who actually need it. We are going to basically phase it out and take the National Identification Card [the Ghana card] as the card that we are going to use to authenticate any individual. This is going to be SSNIT contributors, pensioners and also beneficiaries,” he explained.

He added: “As we know, when a member passes away, we have to pay benefits to nominees…currently we do not take the biometric of nominees and authenticating who is the genuine beneficiary, sometimes it can be problematic.”

SSNIT has since July this year suspended the issuing of its biometric cards.

But its Managing Director was confident the ambitious target to register almost the entire population by the end of year should facilitate the issuing of the common cards.

“My understanding is that by the end of this year, we would have close to thirty million people registered and so as soon as the database is ready, we will hook on. Currently, we have been tooling up our systems to be able to interface with that and use that authentication process”, he said.

The new card should reduce the frustration in keeping numerous identification cards on oneself and enable the government track potential contributors to the pension scheme.