Kenya introduces National Identity Card fees as it struggles to boost government’s revenue streams

Early this month while appearing before the Senate committee on Finance and Budget Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said that the government is broke.

The Interior ministry has re-introduced application fee for replacing national identity cards in a move aimed at boosting government’s non-tax revenue streams.

Interior secretary, Fred Matiang’i, has directed the National Registration Bureau to start levying Sh100 ($1) for replacement of lost, torn, worn out or mutilated IDs.

“The Registration of Persons Rules is amended in rule 8 by deleting the words “shall not pay any fees” appearing in paragraph (6) and substituting therefor the words ‘shall pay to the authorized officer a fee of one hundred shillings’,” Dr Matiang’i says in the notice.

The service which has been free since 2012 when the then Sh300 fee ($3),introduced in 2011 was waived to encourage registration of voters ahead of the 2013 General Election.

Early this month while appearing before the Senate committee on Finance and Budget Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said that the government is broke and was facing difficulties financing some of its development projects.

Section 16 of the Registration of Persons Act, among other provisions, allows interior minister to proscribe the fees for a duplicate ID or for initial registration.

The Immigration department — under which issuance of passports, visas, work or residence permits and national IDs falls — is one of the biggest source of non-tax revenue for the government.

The department collected about Sh10.5 billion ($105m) in 2016, principal secretary for Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa told the National Assembly’s committee on Security late last month, a local business daily reported.

The collections represented a Sh3.5 billion ($35m) growth compared with 2015, largely because of automation of passport and visa services.

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