Members of Parliament want the fee charged for replacement of National Identity Cards scrapped off.
The legislators have asked the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to stop levying a fee of Shs50,000 to people who intend to replace their National IDs after losing them.
In her communication while chairing the House on Tuesday, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that she has received complaints that it’s difficult for Ugandans to acquire and replace that National Identity Cards due to ‘exorbitant’ fee and the period it takes for the ID to be processed. Kadaga said that she has learnt that the process to process an ID can take about four years.
“This is really very ugly and the citizens do not deserve such services. This is a very serious issue because I am now told there is no other valid document other than a National ID, not even the Passport or driving permit and yet the process to get one remains tedious,” Kadaga said.
Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka proposed that the Shs50,000 charge should be removed when seeking replacement for National Identity Cards. Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko asked Parliament to instruct NIRA and the responsible Minister to issue all people who lost their National Identity Cards with new one ones without any charge.
MPs also suggested the process of issuing and replacing National Identity Cards should be decentralized to curb rigidity and other bureaucracies.
In his statement, State minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania said that NIRA services are largely decentralized, although some remain centralized at Kololo. He added that while effective decentralization of national ID registration services remains a key priority for Government, there are a number of issues and challenges that need to be addressed at NIRA for effective and efficient decentralization of services such as; staffing and manual transmission of data and cards from districts to headquarters and vice versa due to lack of connectivity.
“It takes approximately 6 weeks on average for an individual to receive a national ID, but in any case a maximum period of three months. Applicants seeking to register for national IDs are also able to do so at the NIRA district or division offices and receive their national ID from the same service centre,” Obiga said.
“It is also true that there remains a significant number of people who routinely travel from different parts of the country to seek services at the Kololo office often having tailed to get services from the district offices due to a number of operational challenges, most especially the lack of connectivity.”
Debate on Minister Obiga’s statement was deferred to March 10, 2020.