Ugandan ministry pushes for ePassport funds

25/05/17

A Ugandan ministry has demanded that the government allocate significant funding towards the start of an ePassport issuance programme.

Parliament's Defense and Internal Affairs Committee want government to provide Shs 28 billion to kick-start activities leading to the issuance of e-passports.

According to the committee report, at least Shs 28 billion is needed for setting up the initial infrastructure for the production of e-passports. The full implementation of the project requires $100 million, which is unfunded in the 2017/2018 financial year budget.

The issuance of e-passport by the National Citizen and Immigration Control was planned to start by January 2017. However, the project failed to take off due to lack of funds.

Six Heads of the East African Community (EAC) partner states launched the new e-passports during the 17th Ordinary Summit meeting. They directed partner states to commence issuance of e-passports by January 2017 with a view of phasing out the old passports by December 2018.

According to the Defense Committee, many countries have transited from paper passports to e-passports but Uganda is yet to achieve this.

"Implementation of e-passport will save government annual expenditure on purchase of empty passport booklets and associated wear and tear of printing machines deployed internally and externally." reads part of the committee report tabled before parliament by the chairperson, Judith Nabakooba.

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