Kenyans who will not have acquired the Huduma card by December 12 next year will not be able to access government services, Cabinet Secretary (CS) ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joe Mucheru has said.
Mucheru who was speaking in Machakos Wednesday has said the government plans to roll out bulk distribution of the cards by next month.
Two million Kenyans are expected to be issued with the cards in December this year with the number expected to increase to five million by February next year.
A total of 37.7 million were registered in the exercise launched on April 2 last year by President Uhuru Kenyatta under the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) to harmonize and standardize citizens’ personal data into a single number for efficient service delivery.
“You have one year to get the card and within one year the government is going to make sure you have received your Huduma card to help you access services,” Mucheru has announced.
The CS who also launched the process of giving out the first batch of 120 cards to Machakos residents has clarified that the government has put all necessary mechanisms to enable the millions of cards whose distribution will officially kick off in December 1 this year are issued out in line with the prescribed Covid 19 health protocols.
Those who have registered will first receive an SMS notification via their mobile phone notifying them of the date and the place where they are supposed to collect their cards.
Mucheru has downplayed public fears on personal data security by emphasizing that the government has followed all laid down regulations and policies to ensure individual details are safe and tamper proof.
He says the government has surmounted all legal challenges that had slowed the process of issuing the cards due to litigation that had been filed in blocking the NIIMS program.
“All issues regarding court litigations over individual data protection, regulations, and privacy on businesses have been addressed. With the new Data Commissioner Immaculate Kasait in office and the passing by Parliament of laws on data regulation, all information in the Huduma card is now tamper proof and therefore nobody can access your data without your authorization,” he added.
In addition, the CS has urged Kenyans to embrace online platforms in accessing essential government services such as e-citizen saying this will not only ease the way of doing businesses but propel the country to the league of developed nations in the world.
On her part ICT CAS Nadia Ahmed Abdallah challenged the young people to take advantage of governments digital platforms in acquiring additional skills that can empower them economically.
She said online work is proving to be the next frontier in the employment sector and the youth can reap maximum benefits by exploiting it in job creation just like in developed countries.
She singled out the Ajira Digital program as one of the opportunities the government has opened up for empowering youth and said this can transform them to job creators.
“Youths should embrace available opportunities which the government is offering such as Ajira Digital through which they can look up for training opportunities and in the process be at a vantage position in grabbing future employment opportunities. There are also affirmative funds such as the Youth Empowerment Program where one can borrow funds from Sh. 100,000 to Sh. 500,000 and plough back into an investment venture instead of waiting for paid up jobs that are becoming elusive by the day,” she said.
Others present during the function included Devolution CAS Hussein Dado, Machakos County Commissioner Fred Ndunga, and County CEC Health Dr Ancent Kituku.
By Samuel Maina