Registrations For PNG National ID Going Slowly

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

In 7 months, 1.3% of population registered, most in NCD

By Henry Pambuai

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 28, 2016) – About 120,000 people representing only 1.3 per cent of the country’s population have been registered since the National Identification (NID) Card processing started seven months ago.

Register-general and NID project director Dickson Kiragi revealed that yesterday when updating on its progress.

He said the lack of infrastructure for registration points in most provinces contributed to slow registrations.

However, he insisted that the rollout of mobile registration points and more fixed registration points this year would increase the rate of registrations around the country.

"Of that, 84,000 are from NCD (National Capital District) and according to the 2011 census book, we have about 364,000 people in NCD," Kiragi said.

"So, if we have registered 84,000 people so far, that represents 24 per cent of the population in NCD, and of this, 64,000 of them are 18 years old and above.

"At the moment, we have eight fixed provincial registration offices and as we speak registrations are coming in and this (PNGNID Haus) is the nerve centre where we are processing and approving them.

"We will complete (setting up fixed registration offices) the remaining 14 provinces in the next couple of weeks."

When asked how long it took for NID cards to be processed and disseminated to their owners as some people have been waiting for months, Kiragi said: "We are mindful of that and you’ll note that we have taken control of the mobile registrations."

"When we take control, we are also trying to determine when we should be able to deliver. In the next couple of months you are going to see a major change happening.

"So far, we have issued 25,000 NID cards for those that we have been covered through mobile registrations, and so we are trying to speed up those processes.

"We have completed the public servants, who were initially done, and at the moment, we are doing about more than 46,000 registrations that we have received from the community." Kiragi said although the budget was passed this year, the actual amount for the project would be released when the new strategy would be announced.

He said the new strategy would be aimed at reforming their registration processes as they were cumbersome and causing a delay in the issuance of cards.

"With the issue of delays in cards - that is being addressed. We are trying to reduce the time factor. We will reduce any further information after we’ve done our tests on it so that we will be able to assure our clients of delivery time."

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