President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to cherish their nationality and citizenship, and avoid helping non-Ghanaians to obtain the National ID cards.
"Let us cherish our nationality, let us cherish our citizenship. Don't let any of you be party to trying to get the Ghana Card for people who are not Ghanaian.
"A lot of the time, it is our own people who are leading this exercise of getting non-Ghanaians our Ghana card," President Akufo-Addo said when he met the Ghanaian community in Paris, France, on Monday.
The meeting with the Ghanaian community was part of the President's three-day official visit to France.
He indicated that the 'Ghana Card' provided certain benefits, such as access to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which should be reserved for only Ghanaians.
"We are trying to make sure NHIS works for Ghanaians, and adding non-Ghanaian population to that only strains the service. I don't think Ghanaian tax payers should be subsidising our healthcare for others.
"I say this with the greatest of respect to those who are not Ghanaian, but if you have the card, then you have the access," the President said.
He, thus, urged Ghanaians to be vigilant in making sure that only Ghanaians get the card.
"These elections that we have, some people want to translate Ghanaian elections into West African elections. We have not yet gotten to a situation where Togolese, Ivorians and Malians can vote in Ghana elections. That should not be the case. The elections should be for Ghanaians, and, if all of us are vigilant, we can make sure that, that is the reality," President Akufo-Addo added.
With the National Identification Authority set to complete the registration of all Ghanaians resident in the country by the end of this year, the President indicated that Ghanaians resident abroad will have the opportunity to receive the Ghana Card from next year.
"My own belief is that we should make sure that this process is completed for everybody before we bring the election overseas. We all know that there are people holding our papers who are not necessarily Ghanaian. It is not a secret, and we shouldn't be dishonest about it and deny it. It is a fact," he added.
President Akufo-Addo continued, "If this process of giving each of us an identity card is what is going to be able to determine who is and who is not a Ghanaian, I think that we should have that process completed before we can bring the overseas vote into play."
On the controversial matter of the proposed building of a new Chamber of Parliament, the President stated that, "I am happy to announce to you also that the matter has been brought to a conclusion... I hear that today the PRO of Parliament announced that it has been suspended. So there it is!"