Nov 21, 2011, 1:14 PM
The move by the Gambia Immigration Department to open a Biometric Identification System (GAMBIS) office in Basse in the Upper River Region is a step in the right direction.
We urge the Immigration Department to ensure that all the regions are provided with similar facilities, and if possible make it available at all immigration post. This is necessary because it would help overcome the inconvenience of traveling long distances to acquire the documents.
We learnt that there are mobile teams in the field, who are also issuing cards to people.
This is also a wise idea and we must commend the Gambian Immigration Department for their foresight.
According to Mr. Buba Sagnia, the Director General of the Immigration Department, his office is committed to ensuring that all eligible Gambians procure necessary national documents, such as the ID card, driver's licence and passport without any form of hindrance.
To us, this development is a clear manifestation to the fulfillment of that promise.
He further used the occasion to warn foreigners to desist from obtaining Gambian national documents. He said this is a serious crime and anyone found culpable would face the full swing of the law.
Noting that Basse is a major entry point for migrants, Mr. Sagnia called on the people of the area to be vigilant and help in safeguarding the country's national documents.
On our part, we appeal to non-citizens to desist from doing this malpractice as it would not go down well with Immigration laws of the land. Instead they should go in for the Alien Cards, where applicable.
Immigration boss challenged his officers to live up to expectations and develop zero tolerance for corruption and all forms of misconduct.
This is very important, because corruption destroys the social fabric of society, thus impacting negatively on development efforts.
We therefore urge the officers in Basse and elsewhere to take note of that advice of their Director.
National documents should be made accessible to all Gambians, and with the opening of a new GAMBIS office in Basse there is no cause to complain as far as access is concerned.
We would like to use this opportunity to call on all Gambians and the officials in Basse to ensure that our national documents are not issued to wrong people.
Protecting the national documents is a collective responsibility of all and sundry.
Our encouragement also goes to the people in the villages of Upper River Region, in particular, to come out and acquire these documents hence the facilities are now close to them.