By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Minister of Internal Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire has revealed that Ugandans will be required to pay UGX 200,000 for lost national Identity Cards replacements or making changes in their details.
Otafiire made the revelation along with the team of officials from both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Identity and Registration Authority –NIRA while appearing before the members of the Parliamentary Defense Committee on Thursday.
Previously, the government has been charging UGX 50,000 for replacements but with no justification, the cost has now been increased to UGX 200,000 which has since caused a commotion, especially on social media
According to them, this payment will effectively start in the coming mass renewal enrollment of all soon expiring National IDs.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Gen Joseph Musanyufu said that with the new charges, the government will generate revenue of over UGX 160 billion with the project cost of at least UGX 666 billion.
Otafiire further noted that the new fee structure will force Ugandans to be very careful with their IDs.
“If you don’t want to pay the Shs. 200,000, then be careful with your ID,” Otafiire said.
However, the proposed fee structure has raised concerns among several members of parliament on the committee, with the chairperson, RoseMary Nyakikongoro, saying the fees are too high for ordinary Ugandans.
Nyakikongoro said that they will reject the new fee structure when it is tabled on the floor of parliament.
The mass renewal of IDs is expected to kick off in 2023 and 2024 with about 20 million Ugandans expected to renew their IDs.
Gen. Otafiire recently revealed that the new National ID will contain several new features but will contain most of the bio-data already captured, including the current NIN.
“Your NIN does not cease. The bio-data that was captured does not change, we shall only improve the variables captured on your ID,” he noted.
He further added that all Ugandans will get the new national IDs free of charge and only those in need of express national IDs can apply via the internet and pay a fee of UGX 50,000.
“We are doing our level best to make sure that every Ugandan is registered and given his identity and every child who is born is registered and given a national identification number and also given means of identity,” Otafiire stated.
He also said that his ministry is to make sure that NIRA reaches every parish and with time to every village so that Ugandans don’t have to move long distances to register for the national IDs.
The National Identity Cards are a prerequisite for opening Bank accounts, registration of sim cards, obtaining travel documents, voting, and registration for the National Social Security Fund -NSSF for those seeking formal employment.
To secure an ID, Ugandan law requires that one produces a medical birth certificate, a citizen card showing that they are Ugandans by birth, information about their biological parents and family clans and their original residential location – a process that is so tedious that many avoid it.
NIRA was established in 2015 to create, manage, maintain and operate the National Identification Register, assign a unique National Identification number to every person in the register and issue national identification cards to nationals and aliens.