March 9, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Head of Community and Public Relations Office, Donald King, in an interview with Concord Times on Monday at his office on Walpole Street in Freetown, admitted that materials used to produce national ID card were in short supply, but noted that they have received confirmation from De La Rue that some materials were on transit to Freetown.
“Our supplier, De La Rue Identity System, has told us that the materials are on transit and will soon be available. The papers, with which the ID cards would be printed and the Teslin, have been exhausted. Other relevant items needed to do the production process are available,” he said.
King was responding to claims by some citizens that they were being asked to collect their national Identity Cards within three weeks instead of the usual three working days.
One of the aggrieved citizens, Foday Murray, who travelled way from a village called Mogbwemo, where Sierra Rutile operates, alleged that he was asked to collect his ID card within three weeks.
“I don’t have an accommodation in Freetown and I have been at the Guest House since I came on Saturday to collect the ID card. I have budgeted to stay at the Guest House for the usual three days but the new information has caused lots of embarrassment for me,” he said disgustedly.
However, Head of Community and Public Relations Office, said he was not aware about the three weeks notification to collect ID cards, stating that all they have been telling customers was that they would be contacted through their registration details to collect their ID cards.
“We should have cancelled the registration process for the national ID card because we will soon start the mass registration for the multipurpose card. But because the process hasn’t started and people needed their ID cards to go about their daily business transactions, we were urged to continue,” he said.
He noted that the national ID card will be replaced by multipurpose ID card, which will be used for multiple functions.
“When the mass registration process nationwide would have been completed, we hope to open at least 250 permanent registration offices in all the chiefdoms and we also hope that each constituency will have one office. This will automatically prevent the crowd that people used to see at our Walpole Street office to collect their national ID cards,” he said.
Meanwhile, many people who were crowded at the NCRA office on Walpole Street in Freetown called on the government to speed up the process so that they could go about their businesses.