Overcrowding At NIRA As Sim Card Registration Deadline Gets Close.

By on May 17, 2017

Locals in Gulu have expressed fears over switching off their unregistered sim card by government, as the extended deadline for the exercise looms.

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) first issued a deadline on 19th April, but later extended it for a month.

However, with a few days left to the deadline, all unregistered phone users are left worrying whether they will complete the exercise amidst long queues at National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA).

By press time, many locals had thronged NIRA offices, some were seated on the veranda and others standing for long hours with frustrated looks as they waited.

One of the locals from Layibi division, Christine Oloya, 60, said that she has been trekking for two weeks to NIRA offices, yet she has never received any assistance.

Without filling the forms, it’s certain that my sim card will be switched off because there is no way I can meet the deadline with this long queues and there is nothing I can do.

 ‘‘I want to get my national identity card because if not my sim card will be switched off and this will bring my life to a very difficult point because I will not be able to receive money from my children and even monitoring the health of the younger ones will be difficult’’ Oloya noted.

Oloya says that government needs to add more days before switching off the sim cards because the process of getting the national ID is jammed by many residents seeking to get their national identity cards for the first time.

Another resident Okello Moses from Laroo division Ariyaga village said that the machines are few yet the people are many which have slowed down the process of registering.

Okello also made mention that the RDC Captain Santo Lapolo also threaten them that’s why they are overcrowding the office walk ways  and blocking passage to other offices.

He says that the RDC, Cpt Snato Lapolo, cautioned locals that when the process was in their localities they failed to register claiming that the government was intending to rig elections but after realizing the importance of the national ID they have resorted to overcrowding the offices.

At the time of making the remarks the news reporter was at the scene and witnessed the RDC instructing the over crowed residents to line up in queues if not they will be dispersed because they are blocking other office uses to access their offices.

The regional IT officer NIRA Aloysious Ochola also confirmed the overcrowding of residents who want to get national ID’s and noted that on a daily basis they receive more than 250 clients yet with the man power and machines available they are able to register only 100 clients.

He says that with the instruction from UCC to have all sim cards register with the national ID many people have turned up to collect their ID’s which have been redundant.

Ochola says that the date line of registration for national ID isn’t their because it is a continuous process and encouraged resident to turn up and get registered, He noted that even thou the date line for switching them off is near they should put in mind that after the date line elapse more 90 days are given before they can no longer communicate with unregistered sim cards.

The authority for the last two month has been tapping power from the nearby office as the YAKA bundle for the RDC office got finished due to the heavy computers the NIRA officials are using and the work load.

However Ochola clarified that the issue of power is sorted as state house and the authority are in final arrangements to have more Yaka bundles provided to the authority so that issue of accountability can be harmonized between the two offices and ministry of finance.

By Ronnie Layoo.Gulu.


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