By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News , Mt Hagen
The Civil Identity Registry office in Banz, Jiwaka Province, recently issued its first NID cards after ten months of operation. Provincial Registrar, Joe Karap says like any other public office, funding from headquarters is an issue. However, Karap says this will not stop them from rolling out the project to fulfill the National Government’s plans to register at least over a hundred thousand people in the province in a year.
The Civil Identity Registry Office in Banz, since rolling out the project in February 2018, have been only registering and giving out birth certificates. So far 1,072 birth certificates have been registered and given to the people of Jiwaka Province, mainly those living in the urban areas.
Last Friday the office issued its first 800 NID cards. The first person to receive one was Jiwaka Governor, Dr. William Tongamp, and the Provincial Administrator, Michael Wandil. Registrar Karap told EMTV News that funding from the head office in Port Moresby is slow, which also slowed the work of his officers.
The Banz Office also needs Mobile registration Kits and a vehicle for officers to travel to remote places in the province to register the rural population. Mr. Karap says while waiting for funding, the Jiwaka Provincial Government has always stepped in to assist them.
The Provincial Registrar says more awareness needs to be made for people to understand the purpose of the office so they can also do death, adoption and marriage certificates. Governor Tongamp urged his people to register so that it will help the government to plan service delivery according to the correct number of people in the province. The Governor also brushed aside rumors that NID registration is 666, an end time number believed by Christians.
Meanwhile, Jiwaka Provincial Administrator urged the Civil Registry Officers to speed up the registration process so that more people must register.
Currently, the Banz office is registering a lot of people from the neighboring Provinces in the Highlands Region. A clear sign that people want to get registered, but don’t have efficient access to this service.