In what is said to be the first for an African country, Ghana has implemented a comprehensive digital solution to address the challenge of ‘Ghost names’ and delays in the payment of salaries of newly enrolled Government employees on the National Payroll System.

The system involves the linkage of the Government of Ghana (GOG) National Mechanized Payroll Database of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) with the National Identification Authority (NIA) Database, with the real time biometric validation and verification of applicants decentralized to the various CAGD Verification Centres across the country to ensure more accessibility and convenience.

The groundbreaking initiative is designed to create an unbreakable bond between the worker’s Identity and their presence on the payroll, with periodic validations undertaken to make the system even more robust, according to the Controller and Accountant General, Mr Kwasi Kwaning Bosompem.

 “The system will ensure real time validation and verification of new and old employees, improve data accuracy for decision making, enhance transparency and accountability, save Government the huge costs of regular Payroll Audits across the country since the data can be audited anytime at source, and will operate in decentralized biometric verification centres, saving users the cost of travelling to Accra for validation and verification,” he explained.

“This is a historic day for Ghana” Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia stated at the launch in Accra on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.

“As you are all aware, Government’s digitalization agenda led to the linkage of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) numbers of all Ghanaians/employees registered with SSNIT with their Ghana Card numbers, which was a great success. Your Ghana card number is also now your Tax Identification Number (TIN), your National Health Insurance number, your Sim card and your bank account are linked to your Ghana card, and DVLA is doing same. We have just witnessed yet another important event, the linkage of the GOG National Mechanized Payroll database with the NIA database.”

Dr Bawumia explained that the objective of this linkage is to make it mandatory for the Ghana Card to be used as a means of validation of newly recruited employees and also the reverification of existing employees and pensioners on the Government of Ghana Mechanized Payroll System.

New employees will be on-boarded into the system by inputting their NIA numbers which will be validated before staff numbers will be generated for them. The biometric details of these newly captured employees will have to be verified through the biometric devices at the institutional level or the HR processing centers before they receive their first salary.

Existing staff who do not have their NIA numbers on the payroll will be required to go to any NIA office to register and submit their Ghana card numbers to the nearest HR processing centers or their institutions to be captured into the payroll system.

From time to time, existing staff will go through continuous re-verifications at the request of the Controller and Accountant-General to enable them to continue to enjoy salaries.

“This continuous re-verification exercise will be determined on risk assessment basis,” he added.

“Under this system no one can hide and do anything, since it relies on a validation and verification system anchored on the Ghana Card, which has proven to be very robust as the source of identification. It will expose any discrepancies between the records and significantly contribute to eliminating the incidence of Ghost Names on the GOG mechanized payroll system.”


The Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Kwaning Bosompem disclosed that workers who had not updated their records with their Ghana Card numbers by the end of February would have their salaries suspended.

“Please register for your Ghana Card as soon as possible if you have not done so. You have enough time between today and the end of February to make sure you get your salary. Let us all work together to keep the Payroll clean,” he urged.

Source: Ghana/