The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has directed all persons seeking to get the National Identity Cards to go to their district centres for registration.
Mr Gilbert Kadilo, the manager public relations and corporate affairs at NIRA, told journalists yesterday that NIRA won’t register any new persons at their headquarters in Kampala. He said Ugandans now have a one-month grace period within which to register for the National IDs at the NIRA centres located in every district.
“Our centres in every district are open and we urge all people to go back to their districts for registration to create room for Kampala people and our routine work,” Mr Kadilo said.
He said following the extension of the deadline, yesterday registered a lower turn-out for those seeking to verify their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, and those who registered without using their National IDs.
At most Telecom centres visited by Daily Monitor yesterday, there were hardly more than 10 people undertaking the verification exercise. The laxity seem to arise from the new deadline announced on Wednesday by the Prime Minister, Mr Ruhakana Rugunda, following huge pressure from the public to have the deadline extended.
In an April 19 letter to Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the Uganda Communications Commission executive director, Mr Rugunda said the initial deadline of April 20 had been reviewed and extended to May 19.
Mr Kadilo said since the SIM card re-registration deadline has been extended for a month, most people yesterday stayed away. But he said NIRA will continue to issue the National ID cards for those who have not collected them and also give out the National Identification Numbers (NINs) for those without upon payment of Shs1,000.
“For us this deadline extension is a small relief from the crowds that were here yesterday (Wednesday) to beat the deadline, but we shall continue with our normal routine and we appeal to all those who have not got IDs to come and register for National IDs,” Mr Kadilo added.
He said all those who registered for the National IDs, but haven’t received them can request for NINs as they wait for their National IDs.
But Mr Kadilo said NIRA has tightened the requirements for fresh applicants for National IDs, which among others, require the applicant to seek the signature of the Gombolola Internal Security officer (GIS0).
He said a letter signed by the LC1 chairperson with an attachment of either of one’s parents’ ID shall be taken to the sub-county for the GISO to counter-endorse before it is brought to NIRA for processing the National IDs.
The Airtel public relations officer, Ms Faith Bugonzi, said the extension was a huge relief for them and they would use the one-month grace period to urge their customers to register their SIM cards.
Mr Kadilo said NIRA has produced 16,815,976 national ID cards, including from the mass registration exercise, and that 14,000,531 of the cards had been issued to owners while another 1,543,931 cards are yet to be collected, especially for Wakiso District and Kampala.