October 14, 2011

Single ID number project to be launched nationwide

Mozambican authorities have announced the successful completion of the first phase of the Single Citizen's Identification Number (NUIC) project, which covered 4.700 people in the southern city of Matola. The project will now be launched nationwide, and is expected to cover five million people over the next five years.

NUIC is a system whereby every citizen will be identifiable with only one number for their entire life. This will end the current system whereby each document owned by the same person - identity card, passport, birth certificate, driver's licence, single tax number (NUIT), voting card, and others - has a different number. By the end of the project the authorities expect to cover the entire Mozambican population of about 20.2 million inhabitants at a cost of 40 million US dollars. According to the National Director of Registry and Notary Services, Arlindo Magaia, the registration brigades will now be deployed in Maputo, the Mozambican capital, and proceed gradually to cover the whole country. Describing the system, Magaia explained, "when a baby is born it is registered and issued with one single number to cover all documents. As well as collecting biographical data, the system also captures biometric data".

However, the project is facing a number of challenges. According to Magaia these include the lack of adequate infrastructure, electricity and internet services in some parts of the country, to carry out the process. "It is complicated, but it is a challenge worth tackling due to the importance of the registry for citizens. The plan is to register every citizen", he said. Magaia explained that one of the advantages is that it will no longer be necessary to carry out the periodic updating of the electoral register because the Registry Office will already have all of the data. (AIM)

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