Gov’t to Release Shs366.85 Billion to Fund National ID Exercise

Government is yet to release the balance of shillings 366.85 billion to National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to finance the coming mass enrollment and renewal of National Identification Cards to Ugandans.

The nationwide exercise is scheduled to kick off on June 1st, 2024 and will run until September 30, 2025. During the exercise NIRA is projecting to enroll 17.2 million people and to renew 15.6 million national identity cards.

NIRA is also planning to deploy 2000 people in parishes in urban areas and between 800-1000 in rural areas. The exercise is part of preparations towards 2026 general elections.

However, Edgar Ndyakira Tumugabirwe, the NIRA Manager in charge of western region says that despite Parliament last year approving a shillings 666.85 billion budget request to fund the exercise, only shillings 300 billion has been released.

According to Ndyakira out of the total requested, 293 billion is budgeted to fund software, hardware maintenance and support, shillings 183 billion on processing and printing identity cards while shillings 190.85 will fund administration and logistics.

Ndyakira says that they are worried that the exercise could be marred by glitches if it kicks off without the government releasing all the funds. He says that what concerns him is that the public will only shift blame to NIRA officials in case glitches are experienced. He calls upon members of the public and other leaders to mount pressure on members of parliament so that they also task the government to release the balance.

Brigadier General Stephen Kwiringira, Director of Operations and Registrations and Edwin Tukamuheebwa, the Manager in charge of Registration and Operations at NIRA say that they remain optimistic despite the delay to release funds, the exercise will succeed.