Covid-19 delays NIDA installating massive printer

27May 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Covid-19 delays NIDA installating massive printer

​​​​​​​A NEWLY procured printing plant meant to hasten the production of national identification cards (IDs) has not been installed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

​​​​​​​Home Affairs minister George Simbachawene.

Home Affairs minister George Simbachawene said this in the National Assembly here yesterday when responding to MPs’ queries on the performance of the National Identification Authority (NIDA) as per the report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) for June 2019.

“The new plant has arrived in the country but not installed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus,” he said, noting that experts from Germany failed to come for the purpose as the country’s airspace was closed.

“But we’re expecting them soon,” the minister said, noting that the German-made printing plant can produce 9,000 IDs per hour as compared to the current production of 500 IDs an hour.

The government has removed some unscrupulous NIDA officials as part of clearing the image of the authority, he said, citing intent to provide IDs to 27.7 million people by next year.

Debating the CAG report, Jang’ombe MP Ali Hassan King’ (CCM) said that he registered in 2014, but until now he hasn’t got the national ID.

He said that by last month NIDA was expected to have issued 27m IDs, but they ended up producing six million only.

A large number of Tanzanians registered their SIM cards using other people’s IDs, a situation caused by negligence by NIDA officials, he said, urging stringent measures against them.

Bunda MP Boniphace Getere (CCM) said that over 42bn/- was recklessly spent, with the money sufficient to build 240 dispensaries and 80 health centres across the country.

He proposed that a team should be formed to investigate issues of tax arrears and revenue collection gaps at the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

There is also a need for analysis of the performance of the port system, he said.

Other MPs tasked the government to quickly act on shortfalls and gaps highlighted by the CAG report, including the need to improve operational systems at the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).

Bagamoyo MP Dr Shukuru Kawambwa said it was important that government works on issues raised by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the CAG report.

The venture between the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Mkulazi Holding Co. has already incurred a loss amounting to 8.8bn/-, he pointed out, citing CAG observations.

The MP said that if things remain the same pensioners’ money will be at risk.

“The loss has been caused by the delay in the start of sugar production and if it goes like this, capital invested by NSSF will be totally consumed,” he declared.

Most investments conducted by NSSF were unviable, he said, urging the fund to conduct an analysis on the matter as pensioners’ money was at risk.

Singida West MP Elibariki Kingu (CCM) told MPs that public fund embezzlers were still in the public service, in which case strict follow up was needed.

“TRA should establish a department to follow up on exports and import of goods,” the MP suggested.

MPs urged the government to take action on responsible officials at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism for the loss of 1.5bn/- in unbudgeted expenditure.