The demand was made by members of the Defense and Internal Affairs committee of parliament saying that for NIRA to be self-reliant, Telecoms, and government departments and Agencies need to start paying for the biodata supplied to them by NIRA to do their work.
NIRA supplies to telecom companies’ data containing particulars of Ugandans which are often used for sim card registration, among others.
Committee chairperson Doreen Amule observes that at the moment, the authority does not charge any fee upon sharing information with the Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDA’s) and other private companies, despite the huge investment in NIRA by the government.
The committee has recommended that as a matter of urgency, NIRA should start levying a fee for all the information it shares with the various entities to enable it to become self-reliant in terms of funding. The proposal is contained in the report of the committee which is investigating the operations of NIRA, specifically, the Learner’s Registration Project conducted in the districts of Amolatar, Lira, Gulu, Amuru and Kiryandongo.
“The laxity to levy such fees denies the government Non-Tax Revenue and the Authority would be able to generate funds that would help in the acquisition of their own home,” part of the committee report reads.
On the learner’s registration project where some nine million learners were given National IDs, the committee has reiterated calls for the Auditor General to conduct a Forensic Audit on the entire Learners Project including the procurement processes, method of recruitment, level of facilitation and mode of payment to the Field Staff.
According to the committee, due to the sensitivity of the mandate of NIRA, Cabinet should review the decision taken to streamline the Authority in the Mother Ministry of Internal Affairs.