11 February 2019

Uganda: Nira Starts Massive 3-Month Registration for IDs

Kampala — The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) will today commence a three months massive registration of citizens to be enrolled on the national register and for issuance of National Identification Numbers (NINs).

NIRA's public relations and corporate affairs manager, Mr Gilbert Kadilo, said that Ugandans aged 16 and above who will register during this exercise will also have their National Identity Cards processed and issued thereafter.

Mr Kadilo told Daily Monitor in an exclusive interview last week, that the exercise will be done at the sub-county/town council level in the districts and also at division offices in Kampala Capital City Authority and municipalities.

"On Monday (today) we are going to start a nationwide three months registration exercise. Unlike the previous exercise where people were registered at village level, this will be done at the sub-county, town council and division level," Mr Kadilo said.

He said, during the same exercise, Ugandans who have not picked their National IDs that have been stocked at the NIRA district offices will also have them issued.

Out of the 17.5m National IDs that have been printed, 14.6m cards had been issued by January 2019 leaving a pending lot of 2.2m cards that have not yet been picked by their owners.

Information obtained from NIRA shows that at least 2.4m Ugandans aged 16 and above have not enrolled for the National Identity cards.

These include 585,265 people whose application for National IDs has been queried because they provided insufficient and inconsistent information, or have gaps in their documentations.

Mr Kadilo said NIRA is in contact with these people and they are inviting them to use this new exercise to have their proper records captured.

"We have established contact with those people whose applications were queried. We will also handle their issues in these three months," he said.

For anyone's application to be registered by NIRA to be accepted, he or she is required to avail to the officials a photocopy of their parent's National ID and a letter of the Local Council one chairman.

NIRA then verifies the information personally provided by the applicant with what is on their parent's data and that of the LC1 chairperson's letter.

A look into the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics population projections of 2018 which standards at 40,308,000, the number of Ugandans aged 16 and above is 20,041,600. This means that 87.6 per cent of Ugandans aged 16 years and above have had their National IDs printed.

However, with NIRA now mandated to register all births and deaths, there are 16.5m people who have not yet enrolled for the allocation of NINs.

One of the reasons NIRA has been slow in reaching out to all Ugandans to register them is because people are reluctant to register the birth of their children at the district offices, and also cases of understaffing.

Mr Kadilo said district officers are understaffed with most of them having two or three officers out of the approved structure of five. At the headquarters, the production unit that is charged with printing of cards has only seven staff out of the approved structure of 18 data processors.

He said, the machine installed at Kololo for printing National IDs has a production capacity of 24,000 cards per day but on average, only 1200 cards are printed per day hence a 95 per cent daily production shortage.

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