Nira to hire 11,000 for mass ID registration

NIRA staff collecting data from Ugandans for ID registration in December 2019. PHOTO/NIRA

What you need to know:

  • Ugandans who got ID cards in 2014 must renew them before they expire next year.

The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has revealed it will hire 11,000 temporary workers across the country to facilitate the forthcoming mass registration exercise. 

These are expected to be hired by June, one month before NIRA officially starts issuing the new electronic identity cards.

“We are going to hire temporary staff who will be mandated with the role of enrollment, operating machines, entering data of people renewing their ID cards and those getting new ones as well as ensuring that those who have registered receive their IDs,” the manager registration and operation at NIRA, Mr Edwin Tukamuhebwa, said yesterday.

Mr Tukamuhebwa, who was speaking at the training of Uganda Parliamentary Press Association members by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on social protection in Kampala, said the temporary staff will be handling Ugandans at the parish level. 

In 2021, top officials at NIRA said the government wanted to phase out the current national identity cards by 2024 and replace them with electronic ones.

The State minister for Internal Affairs, Gen David Muhoozi in June last year told parliament that the government would issue “smart digital” IDs once the current versions expire.

The expected outcomes of the exercise include the substitution of the (expiring) National ID cards upon expiry, and [their] upgrading to a smart card [Electronic ID] and creation of personal digital identity, the upgrade of the verification system and integration of the Iris recognition biometric technology .

Gen Muhoozi said this exercise would kick off this month.

But Mr Tukamuhebwa said the exercise will start in the next Financial Year, which commences in July.
“The government has provided money for hiring temporary employees in the budget for the next financial year. The employees will work for at least eight months,”Mr Tukamuhebwa said.

NIRA is also expected to procure a new system that will provide for both physical and online application of new Identity cards. 

NIRA began issuing National IDs in 2014, and the first batch expires in 2024, because each card, like a passport, is valid for only 10 years.

Renewal of IDs and acquiring new ones is for free. But Ugandans who lost their ID cards or want to change their names and dates of birth will pay Shs50,000.

About scheme 
 • Applicants will apply and input bio-data information online, which will be captured in an auto-generated QR code only readable by a NIRA machine as a means to protect personal details.                   • In parts of the country with limited or no Internet access, NIRA registration assistants will be deployed in every parish to capture the biometrics of applicants.                                                            •

They will work from Monday to Saturday every week, and it is estimated they will cover a district with 17 parishes at most within two-and-half months.