The senior presidential advisor on diaspora affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi has appealed to the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) to always to ensure it expedites the process of issuing National Identification cards (IDs) to Ugandans in the diaspora.
Ugandans in the diaspora have always complained of not being issued with national IDs despite applying for them.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting for government bodies including BOU, UIA, UTB, Post Bank, Office of the President, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Lands, NIRA, Parliament, OWC, Ministry of Gender among others held at URA, Walusimbi said Ugandans abroad have found many hurdles in trying to get national IDs so as to seek services back home.
“In the absence of registration centre in many countries where Ugandans live, they are forced to return home to process their IDs only to take months waiting for them,” Walusimbi said.
“This has proved costly and many have gone without getting national IDs. There is need to improve this.”
Walusimbi noted that it is high time NIRA opened up national ID registration and issuance centers especially in countries where Ugandans have a lot of concentration.
During the meeting, officials from Post Bank Uganda noted that they find it had to process bank accounts for Ugandans in the diaspora who have failed to access national IDs from NIRA yet it is a requirement.
Responding to the concerns raised, the NIRA spokesperson, Gilbert Kadilo appreciated the initiative by Walusimbi and promised to cooperate for the betterment of all Ugandans both within the country and abroad.
He said that NIRA continues to create interventions to ensure Ugandans in the diaspora are served in their countries of residence.
“We have on several occasions used the different annual conventions in some countries like UNAA to have Ugandans registered for their IDs. We have on top of that, set up so three registration centers in Washington, London and Pretoria. We are thinking of expanding to the Middle East and Northern Europe,” Kadilo said.
However, some members of the diaspora present in the meeting noted that these centers abroad have low efficiency and those who have since registered have taken years without getting their IDs.
Kadilo noted that the delays depend on how far the information is coming from since, after production of the cards from Uganda, they have to be put on the courier to transport them back.
He however noted that they will ensure the process is done fast.