Immigration Issues temporal ID cards As some applicants describe the cost as exorbitant

By Muhammed Sailu Bah and Mamour M. Mbenga
Following the announcement of the commencement of the issuance of national Identity Cards which had stopped for many months, both old and new applicants have started going to the Immigration offices in both Banjul and Kanifing to acquire the document.

Visiting the Immigration head office in Banjul yesterday, this reporter met some people, who have deposited their application forms many months ago, coming with receipts to collect their ID cards which they have already paid for while others came to collect forms to start the process.

A similar situation was also witnessed at the Immigration office in Kanifing where old applicants with receipts were issued with their cards and the new ones directed to collect forms at the nearby new Kanifing Municipality office which is a few metres away.

The issuance of ID cards started on Tuesday, 5 January 2015, at these places and an applicant is required to come with two passport size photos, purchase a form at D50, pay D25 for the stamp from a Justice of the Peace (JP) and another D100 to the Immigration for the ID Card.

According to one of the applicants, after submitting the photos and form and paying the required fees, one is then asked to collect the document the following the week to receive one’s card.

“I was asked to come back next week Thursday to collect my ID card,” said another applicant.

It was earlier reported in this medium that the permanent secretary of the Interior, who in an interview announced the resumption of the issuing of ID cards, indicated that these new cards are a temporal arrangement that will last for only one year before the introduction of the ECOWAS ID for all the nationals in the member countries.

Some of the applicants described the payment of D175 to acquire an ID as exorbitant, considering that the document can only be used for one year before it is discarded.