Previously Ministries and Authorities lost money in operating poor pay roll management system paying fraudsters and ghost workers.
The report titled: Understanding the benefits, costs and challenges of the National Identification system in East Africa indicates that mandatory implementation of NI in daily transactions has not only improved service provision to the public but enabled information of reported fraudsters apprehended.
How National ID is useful;
National Identification has helped in elimination of ghost workers among teachers, health workers, police and the army. Previously an individual would be paid four times but now one should have one identification captured in the pay roll database.
Customers seeking to open an account or transfer money must identity themselves with NI. You don’t need many papers to confirm ones identity”. Dr Roy Mayiga Deputy Chief of Resilience Africa Network and Senior Lecturer Makerere University School of Public Health said.
He noted that while 94%of eligible Ugandans have sought to register for NI, the proportion of Ugandans with national identification is 79% hence its easy for individual identification and accountability.
Mayiga however asked NIRA to conduct more registration exercise to enable all citizens acquire national identification. “Close to 20% of Ugandans don’t have National Identifications.
Having National Identification is mandatory for access to services. These include health, loans from financial institutions and student loan scheme as security for easy tracking,” Mayiga stressed.
“Digital identification not only improve identification but also improve coverage and efficiency in service delivery and several African countries have adopted,” he added.
Mayiga said over a dozen countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including East Africa have set up and implemented electronic identification system. They are however at different stages of fostering identification and accountability for individuals.
Over 1.1 billion people lack proper identification hence major barrier for access to services.
The study explored the socio-economic benefits, cost and challenges of digital national identification systems in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
East African states established national identification between 2010 and 2019 enacting laws and conducting mass registration.
Benefits of national identification;
Registration of sim-cards and mobile money, bank accounts and enrollment of children in school.
Self identification during travel, access to government services and security reasons and business contracts.
Estimated benefits from the use of NI in government programs include savings from prevention of leakages in cash transfer programs, youth livelihood funds, Uganda women empowerment program and pay roll management.
Total Budget for setting up national identification was 56 million dollars.
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