MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Minister of Interior Ebrima Mballow, said the validity period for the new Gambian Identity card is five years. In justifying the cost of the card, Mballow said it is biometric and has features that are of international standard.
Notifying him on the concerns raised by people that the new card is expensive, the Minister said the ID card is a statutory document and is not like previous ordinary ID cards; that this one is a National document of good quality. “Even if you make this document for D100, some people will still complain,” he said; that the ID card is for the security of every Gambian; that for two years, people have been waiting for the ID card.
Mballow announced that the issuance of the ID card will be open to the general public from October 1st 2018, at the Biometric Headquarters in Kanifing; that before the end of the year the issuing will be decentralized across the country; that the New ID card has features just like the passport, and that all five finger prints are taken, including the holder’s digital picture.
He was asked whether the ID card is the ECOWAS ID, and he answered in the negative. He was however quick to say that was in the pipeline and that when it comes, the General public will be informed.
He said that a press release will be issue to educate people on the requirements one needs to fulfill, to get for the New ID card. “It does not mean if you are born in the Gambia, you can get this ID. But you have to meet the requirements stated by Law,” he said.
The price of the new ID card still remains a concern for citizens, the issue is still raised on various platforms that the price is too high for the ordinary Gambian to come by, and will continue to ask Government to reduce it.