KOLOLO: The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) is a disgrace to Ugandans because it has failed to deliver as promised, leaving many Ugandans without national identification cards (IDs).
“It is a pity that NIRA is playing with the work of issuing IDs when we, the citizens are suffering because of lack of the documents,” says a big public official whose family members are yet to receive the IDs despite finishing the process long time ago.
“Look at the current process in Kampala and Wakiso where people have to make long queues right from 6 am in the morning but many end up frustrated because of NIRA’s inefficiencies,” he adds.
Another disgruntled citizens is wondering why Ugandan Communications Commission and telecom companies want to switch off people’s simcards well knowing that many have not gotten IDs needed to verify them. “NIRA and UCC and telecom companies must not collude to torture us Ugandans,” he says, adding that the process in the rural areas is even worse given that people are busy in their gardens and have no time to waste given that famine is rampant with many left with little to eat.
NIRA is the only agency without customer care call center or hotline to help clients. Imagine people move from Kabong, Kabale, Karamoja etc to Kololo just to check on the progress of their National ID registration. NIRA needs a call center to handle people’s problems like how Telecoms, NWSC, UMEME, URA and other agencies do.
Many Ugandans are finding it hard to access some government offices just because they don’t have IDs. NIRA bosses must be held accountable on this mess as they continue receiving salaries for no work done.
NIRA officials are also being accused by citizens of issuing IDs to foreigners such as Kenyans in eastern Uganda, Rwandese in western Uganda as well as central region including Kampala and Wakiso districts. Some Tanzanians are also believed to have been issued with the cards that have become a thorn in Ugandans’ flesh. As reported weeks ago NIRA officials are issuing such cards to foreigners at Shs100, 000.
Interestingly, it is reported that some NIRA officials have neglected serving Ugandans because of the love of the money that foreigners give. Ugandans who have lost their IDs are however required to pay Shs50, 000 before they can get a second one.
NIRA officials also hired their relatives and their friend’s sons and daughters and these have ended up not doing the work as expected as some don’t qualify to do those jobs, meanwhile those with qualifications are on streets with their documents, sources within the authority say.
NIRA, much as is mandated to register births and deaths in the country and to develop a National Identification Register for both citizens and non-citizens, it must style up.