By MUHAMMED Sailu BAH
The permanent secretary of the ministry of the Interior has confirmed that the issuing of the national Identity Cards will resume today, Tuesday, 5 January 2015, after a lull of 8 months.
Mr. Momodou Nai Ceesay said this in an interview with this reporter in his office yesterday following the recent press release issued by his ministry to announce that they will start issuing National ID cards to applicants.
The Interior permanent secretary revealed that the production of the ID cards is a temporal arrangement that will last for one year before the introduction of the ECOWAS biometric ID Cards. He added that the contract of producing the ID cards is given to a new company called Der Ishadaow Design Security Printing Company which is based in Fajara in the Gambia.
“The introduction of the ECOWAS Biometric Card is one of the reasons why we have this delay on the ID card production,” said the Interior permanent secretary.
Mr. Ceesay said Gambia is expected to introduce the ECOWAS ID card for Gambians in 2016 to help facilitate their movements within the ECOWAS countries.
On the nature of this new ID card, he said it is very secure and protects against identity theft. He said the security features on this temporal ID card can be seen by using ultra violet lamp (UV Lights).
The Interior PS said the ID application is D50 while the ID card is D100.
On what the people who had applied but could not be issued with ID should do, he advised them to re-apply again and assuring that the process to be issued with an ID would not exceed two days.
In has been reported in this medium on numerous occasions that applicants were complaining about the inability of the Immigration department to issue them with the National ID cards which was affecting them in their movements and financial transactions that require showing of this document.