Gov’t scraps Shs50,000 charge for national ID renewal - Daily Post Uganda

Gov’t scraps Shs50,000 charge for national ID renewal

KAMPALA – The State Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen David Muhoozi, has assured that citizens will no longer be required to part with Shs50,000 to renew their national identity cards (IDs).

The minister, who was on Tuesday updating Parliament on the the progress of preparations for mass renewal of national IDs, clarified instead that only citizens interested in express service will be required to pay regular charges for renewal of their IDs.

“The amendment here is intended to remove fees payable by the citizen for the renewal of a national ID, and instead introduce fees only for express service where one requires express service to get a national ID,” Muhoozi said.

His remarks followed concerns raised by a section of MPs about delayed process of renewing IDs and issuance of new ones. The legislators called on the government to expeditiously release funds to effect the process.

MPs were further perturbed when it came to light that despite Shs300 billion appropriated for the same cause, no money has been released to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, putting on halt activities such as recruitment of workers to man the exercise and the delayed procurement.

“This is the process where we extract the register for elections, which should be ready by January 2025,” Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa said.

“You need to renew over 15.2 million IDs and enroll 17 million new IDs by June this year, you need to move fast such that we do not get into a national crisis.”

Tayebwa was bothered that the ministry has halted the recruitment of workers to run the exercise and tasked the ministry to commence the recruitment as they wait on funds to beat the deadline.

“You cannot wait for the money to reach your account, you can start on the process of recruitment, then when money comes you just issue recruitment letters,” Tayebwa said.

In May 2022, the Deputy Speaker had warned the same minister not to make the national ID card exercise a revenue generating avenue because they have become a necessary requirement for one to attain any social and economic service.

Kwania County MP Tonny Ayoo expressed concern over the long process citizens go through during renewal of IDs, suggesting that the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) should learn from the systems deployed in the renewal of driver permits.

“NIRA has been operating on very dilapidated computers, systems, and perhaps applications, that is why they are providing for express IDs, why can’t they borrow from the process of issuance and renewal of driving licence?” asked Ayoo.

Ayoo asked Parliament to mount pressure on the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development to urgently release Shs192 billion allocated for the exercise in this quarter.

Minister Muhoozi reiterated that despite the delays, the ministry has kick-started procurement process for ICT equipment, and training of ministry staff in the new National Security Information System is ongoing in India.

“Following the approval of funding, the new National Security Information System-related procurements have also commenced with requests for approval by the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda obtained,” Muhoozi said in his statement.

Muhoozi articulated the plan for hard-to-reach districts, saying standby generators and solar panels will be provided to counter power blackouts.

“Approximately 2,750 kits with solar panels, will be available in addition to each district having a 5KV generator for the exercise. Each kit will have two connectivity devices and connectivity mapping is ongoing for each parish countrywide,” he said.

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