General David Muhoozi, the Minister for Internal Affairs, told the parliamentary plenary that discussions were underway for the government to issue “smart digital” IDs once the current versions expire.
Muhoozi said the automation of an individual’s information on an ID was to adopt technology and increase speed in verifying people’s data whenever needed.
“The government seeks to take advantage of the strides in technology that will increase portability and verification to support global transactions. The exercise will improve accuracy and credibility of the register for planning and improved service delivery,” he said.
Through the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Uganda began issuing National IDs in 2014, and the first batch expires in 2024. They are valid for only 10 years.
Generate revenue for government
He added that the government would also use the process to generate revenue as citizens will have to pay for IDs. “The exercise should potentially generate revenue for the government; details of which are also being computed,” he said.
This immediately attracted condemnation, with Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa stating that Ugandans should not be made to pay for the National ID.
Rose Obiga, Terego District Woman MP, argued this would be a tall order since obtaining the current free versions was difficult for thousands of Ugandans.