New upgraded national IDs to cost taxpayers Shs600b

Minister of Internal Affairs Kahinda Otafiire addresses journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on August 9, 2022. PHOTO | FRANK BAGUMA

The government has set aside Shs600b for renewal of the National ID, which starts in June next year. 

Addressing the media yesterday, Minister of Internal Affairs Kahinda Otafiire said the money would be used to purchase high-tech machines that  will make improved national IDs with a chip that can identify people’s eyes and recognise their DNA. 

“This is a very huge task so this money will be used for paying the people registering, buying equipment and facilitating the process at large.  The renewal of IDs will be free but those that want to do it online, they will have to pay Shs50,000,” Gen Otafiire said. 

The government through the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) began issuing National IDs in 2014 and the first batch expires in 2024 because each, like a passport, is valid for only 10 years.

Last month, Gen David Muhoozi, the State minister for Internal Affairs, told Parliament that the government will issue “smart digital” IDs once the current versions expire.

Yesterday, Gen Otafiire said: “Government is to start the mass registration for renewal of National IDs.” 

The minister said the renewal process shall also be free of charge and registration centres shall be extended to various parts of the country. 

Gen Otafiire also asked Ugandans to ensure that their children are registered at birth so that their details are captured in the national database.

The NIRA board chairperson, Mr Joseph Biribonwa, said NIRA is to intensively involve in raising awareness on birth and death registration rights in Uganda. 

He said NIRA is partnering with the Ministry of Education and Sports to raise awareness on the importance of birth registration through the annual musical, dance and drama activities.