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Coast region set for the nationwide biometric registration

The  Coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River are set for the nationwide mass Biometric Registration Programme that kicks off on Tuesday  April 2, 2019.

The Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elung’ata says the region is ready for the rollout of the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) that is primed to improve government services and security.

“With the digital listing of people and issuing them with a unique identifying number will help the state to easily manage security and other sensitive matters of national importance,” said Elungata.

The new system will ensure that all identification documents associated with the government such as IDs, driving licenses, passports, KRA PIN, birth and death certificates are issued from a central source.

Speaking to KNA during an interview in his office, Elung’ata said it’s all systems go, for the six coastal counties in the biometric identification and that nothing is being left to chance.

He said with this ambitious national identity programme, Kenya joins a number of countries such as India that have turned to digital technology projects for more reliable identification and authentication methods for better citizen security and convenience.

The countrywide registration exercise that will last for 45 days is being conducted by the Interior Ministry with sophisticated biometric technology with the key objective of modernizing the national registry system.

Time for the mass registration is from 7.00am to 5.00pm daily, including weekends and public holidays.

Elung’ata said the new system will provide a single source of authentic information of all persons residing in Kenya whether citizen or foreigner.

He said it eliminates the need to carry multiple documents besides improving confidence in official identity credentials.

The administrator said at the end of the exercise people will be issued with unique biometric identity numbers called ‘Huduma Number’ which will accord Kenyans easy access to all government services.

He said the Huduma Numbers will also assist the government in other areas such as project resource allocation, national planning, social services and infrastructure project planning.

Registration that will be harmonized into one ‘Huduma Number’ will also include, registration for National Hospital Insurance Funds (NHIF) and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) cards, registration for cash transfer to the elderly, registration for Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), registration for persons living with disabilities benefits and registration of farmers for food security among others.

The RC said hundreds of enumerators who will work alongside chiefs and their assistants in the collection of the biometric data have been trained and ready to go and called for cooperation from all corners.

“This is really a key development step that is all about making access to government services a lot easier for Kenyans,” he said during the interview at Uhuru na Kazi building.

On his part, Mombasa County Commissioner (CC), Evans  Achoki held press briefings and talk shows with local FM radio stations to call on the people to register in large numbers to make the registration exercise a success.

Achoki  encouraged everyone to register for the ‘Huduma Number’ lest they be locked out of essential government services in future.

The County  Chief noted 411 digital enumerators have been hired and deployed in the six sub counties of Mombasa to work with chiefs, sub chiefs and village elders who will be spearheading the registration exercise.

The government through the Sh.6 billion digital project hopes to create a gigantic national data base that will help people have better access to government services.

By  Hussein  Abdullahi

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