The ministry of internal affairs has tabled another sh60b request for the stalled national identity project.
By Paul Kiwuuwa
In an Oliver Twist-like case of nothing is never enough, the ministry of internal affairs has tabled another sh60b request for the stalled national identity project.
Internal affairs Minister Hillary Onek Monday told the Defence and Internal affairs committee that the extra funds will be used for construction of "a permanent coordinator centre" next financial year acquire premises for the national data bank, register at least 18 million citizens from 16 years and issuance of at least 5 million national IDs to citizens.
Onek and his team of immigration Control tabled the request before the MPs in their budget for the financial year 2013 -2014.
Last year, the ministry of Defence is said to have taken over the stalled multi-billion shillings national project. On March 19, 2010, the Government contracted Muhlbauer Technology, a German firm, at 64.2m Euros (about sh230.9b) to supply technology and other related services for the project dubbed the National Security Information System (NSIS).
Quoting the National Citizenship and Immigration Act, Onek said "It is the mandate of immigration Control board to print and issue National Identity Cards, not the UPDF.”
Asked by MPs why the project was "hijacked" by the UPDF, Onek explained; “UPDF was invited to assist in data capturing but not to print to print the national identity cards.”
"During the half year of the current financial 2012/13, Directorate of citizen ship and immigration Control (DCIC) received sh16bn, including implementation of the national IDs.
However, the MPs insisted that Onek and his team should first produce a satisfactory National ID project plan explaining the proposed expenditures. "We can't pass the supplementary budget before getting the reflection of value for money," Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi insisted.
This was seconded by committee vice chairperson Simon Mulongo (Bubulo East).
Onek told the MPs that his ministry had contracted the Uganda Publishing and Publication Company to print the IDS. "So far 13,200 IDs have been printed and are due for delivery to the citizens," Onek laboured to explain.
Onek told the committee that the Directorate of citizen ship and immigration Control (DCIC) is implementing a pilot personalisation and data processing centre in Entebbe.
He explained that under the ID project, they directed UPPC to install bigger machines to print at least 3,000 cards per hour to speed up the printing process.
He added that production of 5.2 m identity cards is going on at UPPC Entebbe and secluded to end by 4th October, 2013.
But by March 2012, the project had stalled over reported lack of funds. The firm had released only 400 IDs out of the over 34 million Ugandans.
Stalled national ID project needs more sh60b