Gambia’s Minister of Homeland Security, Mai Ahmad Fatty has blamed the Jammeh administration for the problems the country is facing with issuing national identification documents.
The Barrow government put a stop to the issuing of the documents after an internal audit showed that the country’s national papers were issued to foreigners and identified many flaws within the system.
“The issue of ID cards is not the creation of this government. We did not create the problem of ID cards, we found it here. When this government came in, there were complexities of contracts and some are not in the best interest of the country,” Minister Fatty said.
“So we came in and we had to resolve just like many other issues. We have to give this country a national identification system that is consistent with international standards. We took time to look at it critically so that we can eliminate some of the distortions and fraud involved in it.”
Gambian authorities have given a joint contract to a Belgian company and a local Gambian tech firm, Pristine Consulting to now produce national identification documents.
The Ministry of Interior, the government department responsible for the issuing of identification and the country’s internal security said issuing of IDs will resume in before the end of December.
Passports continue to be issued but those that are machined readable are not being produced. Only biometric passports are being issued, the presidency’s Press Secretary, Amie Bojang-Sissoho said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had revoked more than 270 diplomatic passports, some of which were given to non-Gambians, who were not in the civil service by Jammeh’s government.