By MUHAMMED SAILU BAH
ASI Famara Fadera, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), has revealed that the production of the Biometric Identity cards is presently facing a major technical problem and hence the non-issuance of this national document to applicants.
The Immigration PRO said this during an interview with this paper at his office on Monday, 28 September, 2015.He gave the assurance that the responsible government authority, which is the ministry of the interior, and Pristine Consulting, the contracting party, are working tirelessly to ensure that the problem is solved as soon as possible.
People are complaining that for more than six months now the Immigration Department is not issuing ID cards at any of its outlets thus causing difficulties for people without the document to conduct certain transactions or to freely move about within the country.
ASI Fadera expressed their regret of the present situation, adding that it is causing inconvenience to many people who are in urgent need of the ID but facilitate their movements and other very important transactions.
“A lot of people have got ID cards that are expired but cannot renew them because it is not being issued. This is causing problems for them to undertake bank transactions which require identification through the national ID card,” admitted the GID PRO.
He said the problem is beyond their control as at now, but expressed hope that it would be solved as those concern are doing all they could for it to be fixed.
“Even if you look outside the office at the shed, you can see for yourself that no one is sitting there waiting for an ID card as we are not issuing them now,” he said.
ASI Fadera however revealed that they have resorted to issuing non biometric or manually prepared ID cards for non-Gambians, including Alien and Residential Permits in order to facilitate their movements within the country as well generate revenue for the state.
The Immigration PRO said they are fully aware of and concern about the many people who are in need of new ID cards or renewal and do come there on a daily basis to enquire about the issuance of the document. He said they are appealing to the applicants to be patient with them as the problem will be addressed.
By MUHAMMED SAILU BAH