Govt eyes universal national ID

THE government is looking into possibilities of coming up with the universal national identification card, in order to reduce the number of IDs used to access various services in the country.

In implementing the plan, Minister for Home Affairs Hamad Masauni told the august House yesterday that his office has held preliminary talks with senior officials of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on May this year.

The minister was tabling budget estimates for his docket in which, he asked Members of Parliament to endorse 1.2tri/- for recurrent and development expenditure for 2023/2024 financial year.

“In order to realise the plan, the government will in the next financial year start collaborating with all key stakeholders, to collect views and make amendment of the Registration and Identification of Persons Act to improve birth and death registration procedures,” Mr Masauni said.

He said the government will also start using modern technology by collaborating with countries which are experienced in using the Universal National Identification Card and invest in modern systems for identification and persons’ registration and provision of identity cards.

“The realisation of this plan will enable to link the national ID and other IDs such as driving licences, national health insurance cards and voters’ registration cards,” he said.

He further said that the new IDs will reduce cost incurred by the government in purchasing raw materials for printing the IDs, enable citizens to have access to social and economic services and get the IDs on time.

Hinting on the status of registration and identification of persons in the country, the minister said that between July 2022 and May this year a total of 774,594 citizens were registered, where 733,238 were from Mainland and 41,356 in Zanzibar.

He noted that so far, a total of 23,960,323 people have been registered since the exercise commenced in 2012.

Minister Masauni noted that, of the people registered, a total of 223,058 people have been registered from poor households through collaboration with Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) with the aim of identifying households with criteria to benefit from the government subsidies.

In efforts to speed up the registration process, NIDA started to receive online registration application since December last year, he said.

“This service will reduce cost and long queues in NIDA offices especially in urban areas … until May this year a total of 17,248 registration applications have been received at the authority offices,” Mr Masauni said.

He further noted that, NIDA has also conducted pilot registration to Tanzanians living outside the country, in which, a total of 154 Tanzanians were registered at the Tanzanian Embassy in US.

The minister said that in 2023/2024 financial year, the government will continue with registration and identification of persons in all districts and regions in the country in which, a total of 1,597,827 people are expected to be registered.

The minister further detailed that between July 2022 and May this year, NIDA produced 623,247 identification numbers and 1,059,716 IDs, thus making a total of 20,126,693 of identification numbers and 12,097,933 IDs which have been so far produced since the commencement of the exercise in 2012.

He said the government will continue with efforts to make sure that all citizens with identification numbers are provided with IDs.

Masauni explained that until May this year, NIDA had received a total of 28bn/- and it has opened a Letter of Credit worth 42.5bn/- for the purchase of IDs printing materials, noting that other procurement procedures are underway.

“The purchase of these materials will enable all citizens who have been registered to be provided with IDs” he said.

The minister commended the sixth phase government under the administration of President Samia Suluhu Hassan for clearing the long term debt worth 17.5bn/- and revive the contractual relationship with the contractor.

The minister also said that his office has amended regulations governing registration and identification of persons of 2014 in areas of time limit for the national IDs to Tanzanians, registration of settlers and Tanzanians living outside the country.

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