Intelligent Card Production Systems (ICPS), an ISO certified full service card manufacturing facility from card fabrication to fulfilment, has taken a giant step in readiness to issue instant National Identification (ID) cards to Ghanaians.
ICPS produced the instant cards under the Identification Management Systems (IMS) Limited for a pilot project to register eligible foreign nationals living in Ghana under a public-private partnership (PPP) with the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Based on the success of the pilot project, the NIA had taken a decision to expand the PPP to cover about 15 million Ghanaians.
In this regard, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Margit Thompson has handed over a $3.5 million state-of-the-art card and security printing equipment to ICPS, a subsidiary of Margins Group, a Ghanaian company.
In addition, the investment fund of the Danish government, known as the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), has also, through its Investment Committee of the board, announced an additional investment of $5 million to support ICPS for supporting IMS for NIA card production needs.
When the $5 million investment is finalised, it will bring total Danish investment in ICPS in 2015 to $8.5 million.
The $3.5 million Danida Mixed Credit facility is part of a $10 million ICPS upgrade project.
The handing over of the facility also showcased the ICPS’s ultra-modern factory and capacity and the expanded AFIS and central site of NIA, which has been developed jointly with Dermalog of Germany, a leader in biometric, together with IDFG of Denmark.
The central site has the capacity to store 400 million fingerprints, 80 million faces and 80 million irises, and it is the most advanced biometric system in the country to date.
The system is designed to store all the current NIA data, enabling nationals to update their already collected data in the first registration or submit new data if not registered, to achieve NIA’s mandate to be the primary referential database connecting the alphanumeric data and biometrics of all nationals to a unique NIA pin number from cradle to grave to be used by all stakeholders.
The handing over was to close the equipment gap in ICPS, to enable it to complete its certification for manufacturing personalisation and fulfilment of EMV cards and secure government electronic ID cards for all purposes that meet all international standards.
In his welcome address, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Margins Group, the mother company of ICPS, Mr Moses Baiden said the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) support has enabled significant upgrade of security and printing facilities of ICPS to be in pole position to be an Africa-wide leader in security printing and manufacture of documents and cards, identity solutions and secure applications.
He explained that the support under a DANIDA mixed credit facility would position ICPS to undertake the printing of the full range of security documents, personalised ID cards, as well as fully configured data card personalisation systems that would see a transformational change in ICPS’s technical capability in the areas of secure printing and manufacture of high security documents and cards, identity solutions and secure applications.
Mr Baiden, a Ghanaian entrepreneur, who is a qualified lawyer, noted that this would ultimately enable the factory to become the only factory in Ghana certified for the manufacturing and production of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) and other high security internationally certified documents.
He said ICPS is poised to meet all the printing requirements of the NIA for both Ghanaians and foreigners.
According to Mr Baiden, the system is ready to commence factory acceptance test to be followed by site acceptance test and will enable NIA to issue smart national ID cards contact, contactless or dual interface on any card substrate as the case may be to all Ghanaians and foreigners as per NIA’s mandate.
He expressed the organisation’s gratitude to the Danish government, the Embassy of Denmark in Ghana and other partners for their immense belief in ICPS’ vision and enormous contribution to the vision of Margins Group.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hanna Tetteh stated that ICPS has what it takes and meets the requirements to produce the biometric cards for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) citizens, since it meets international standards.
She disclosed that ECOWAS has agreed among its members to deploy ECOWAS biometric Identity Cards among all its members, to be launched in January 2016.
She said the introduction of a card production system in the country would help the government save the cost of producing ID cards outside the country.
She advised staff of ICPS to take advantage of the many opportunities availed to them and urged the general public to work together with the government to make the organisation a premium card production system across many continents.
The Danish ambassador to Ghana, Madam Thompson, said that the bond between the Danes and Ghana is very strong, and added that they are ever ready to extend whatever help they can, to help the country develop.
She pledged her support to Margins Group to assist the company to meet its goal of being the first and only full-service Ghanaian-owned company certified in card and security printing in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Rashid Pelpuo, Minister of State in charge of Public Private Partnership (PPP), noted that the government’s arm is wide opened to support and work with local entrepreneurs like ICPS for the economic growth of the country.
According to him, the changing phase of investments in the country has made PPP a crucial force to reckon with to boost the county’s economy.
He said the sector would always support ICPS because it has proven its capability and competence to develop the nation.
Access Bank provided the local guarantee and CAL Bank as the local financier of the factory while Danish Export credit (EKF) guaranteed the transaction 100%, an expression of their confidence in Margins Group and Ghana as an investment destination.
The occasion was graced by a respectable representation from the Access and CAL banks, both of which have supported the Margins Group when others dreaded such a feat.
Source : The Finder