Message from the ED
As the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), whose principle responsibility is the establishment and maintenance of the National Identification Register, I am glad to share with you progress on Births and Deaths Registration. This is a function that has been handed over to the Authority from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.
The Government of Uganda fully understands that specific constraints to a sustainable and inclusive growth can be effectively eliminated through the effective management of vital statistics alongside a credible identification and registration system.
Prior to the Registration of Persons Act 2015, registration of persons was carried out under various laws by different government agencies URSB, EC, DCIC, URA, etc. These Laws essentially provided for the collection of the same personal information and the duplicated efforts caused a strain on the National Budget, fatigue on citizens and a lack of coordination in the implementation of government programmes.
Many aspects of the laws dealing with registration of persons had become outdated, especially in light of the present day policies, international obligations and technology developments.
On 26th March 2015, the Registration of Person’s act was passed into law to harmonize and consolidate the various laws that were in existence on registration of persons.
The law established the National Identification and Registration Authority whose mandate includes among others: The creation, management, maintenance and operation of the National Identification Register; The registration of all citizens of Uganda; The registration of non-citizens of Uganda who are lawfully residents in Uganda; The registration of births and deaths; Assignment of a unique National Identification Number to every person registered in the Register; Issuance of National Identification Cards and Aliens’ Identification Cards.
The exercise of registration of persons started under the National Security Information System (NSIS) project in a Multi-Sectoral arrangement which saw several government institutions with various registration mandates come together to conduct the exercise with the purpose of creating one national identification register.
From April to August 2014, a successful mass registration exercise of Ugandan Citizens aged 16 Yrs+ was conducted and 16 million persons were successfully registered out of the projected 18 million. The collected data was then processed and National Identity Cards were produced for the verified Citizens. To date up to 16,464,451 cards have been successfully produced, 14,534,125 cards have been issued already and the balance is being issued to citizens at the various card issuance centers across the Country.
The National Identification and Registration Authority has kick-started activities leading to registration of Citizens aged 0+ years; and resident aliens in the next planned stage of registrations.
The Law is cognizant of the fact that civil registration is the breeder to any National Identification system. Therefore a strong foundation of birth and death registration is key to sustaining a credible National Identity register.
The birth and death registration function has hitherto been the mandate of URSB. This function is due to vest in NIRA. A Joint committee of senior members from the two agencies is closely working together to ensure a smooth transition of this function and a National task force comprising of key agencies like Population Secretariat, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization among others, is in place to ensure this smooth transition
As NIRA, we are committed to a dynamic National Identification Register. We are prepared to work with the National Task Force on Birth and Death Registration, and pool efforts and resources to deliver a credible civil registration and identification system that achieves acceptable standards of security, accuracy, completeness (“inclusiveness”) and timeliness. We look forward to future cooperation in this endeavor.
Judy Obitre Gama
National Identification and Registration Authority