GID issues over 500,000 ID cards - PRO Dibba

Feb 21, 2022, 11:30 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko & Jankey Ceesay

Chief Superintendent Mamading S. Dibba, also Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) has revealed that over 500,000 (five hundred thousand) ID cards were produced for Gambians.

PRO Dibba made these remarks at a recent press conference held at the GID headquarters in Banjul.

He added that the statistics showed that the total number of Identity Cards (ID) that were issued during the period under review – that is from January to December 2021 was: 20,1,259 ID Cards, bringing the total number of ID Cards to 500,57,650. 

According to him, with this identification documents, the total of people denied so far stands at 495; 327 males and 168 females.

"I am sure this is not an alarming number and these goes to explain some misconceptions and allegations about the way we go about denying people having ID Cards."

PRO Dibba said the GID has the mandate of issuing documents to Gambians in a form of National Identity Card, passports as well as issuing residential and work permits to non-Gambians. 

"We have a system in place as far as National identification documentation is concerned and resident and work permit is concerned and the unit responsible for discharging this is The Gambia Biometric Identification System (GAMBIS)," he said. 

He explained that the system was introduced and operated from the 1st October 2018. Since then they were able to introduce and operate seven fixed stations across the country within the regions. For a start, they only operated in Banjul and Kanifing Municipalities but after the end of the year under review, they made their foot prints visible in all the regions and administrative areas of The Gambia. 

"Out of a little 1 million people, 495 people have been rejected completely but notwithstanding, we will remark that we have a number of pending cases that are undergoing investigations, verification and other administrative processes," he added.

He said another important sector of their mandate is migration management, noting that GID is the lead agency under the Ministry of Interior that is charged with the responsibility of managing migration issues in the country. 

He said that this is spelt in Immigration Act 1965 and other relevant laws. 

PRO Dibba further said the Migration Management Unit (MMU) which is the unit under The Gambia Immigration Department is responsible for coordinating and managing migration issues and had successfully coordinated and facilitated the safe arrival and integration of 657 voluntary returnees. 

He added that the unit was able to intercept 162 would-be migrants or those trying to embark on irregular migration along the coast of The Gambia at different locations.

He said GID collaborated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Gambia Red Cross Society to support scores of vulnerable migrants who were virtually in harm's way to bring them to safety. 

GID has seen the importance of collaboration when it comes to migration management “because it is not a secret that managing migration requires all hands on deck. It is a cross cutting issue that requires the attention and cooperation of all stakeholders to be able to make positive head ways.”

“However, the GID was also to install and operationalise Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDA). This is a digital system that the GID with the support of IOM, was able to install and operationalise in all the major land borders. The importance of these MIDAS is not only limited to providing data for policy decision making but also it provides a one stop shop for all our migration information and data analysis needs.”

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