Too Much Frustration in getting Gambian ID Cards


It is very unfortunate that the Gambia government through SEMLEX cannot give Gambians the required number of ID cards. The contract awarded to SEMLEX is said to be shabby and lacks transparency but yet the SEMLEX Company was given the green light to go ahead and print Gambian ID cards.
A Gambian ID card is costing an ordinary citizens more than a thousand (D10000). This is simply because there is only two spots in the whole of the country where citizens can have a copy of the IDs.
The SEMLEX Company is not able to open up more stations where citizens can easily have access to this very important national document.
If for instance one is to travel all the way from Fatoto village or Brief in the URR to Banjul for an ID, that person will end up paying more than a thousand dalasi before he or she is issued an ID?
From Fatoto to Banjul this poor citizen will pay nothing less than five hundred dalasi (D500) for transport fares. How much would he or she spend on food on the way; its will be another two hundred and fifty dalasi (D250) and housing and food for another seven days will be nothing less than another Five hundred dalasi and the actual cost of the ID, Four hundred and fifty dalasi (D450).
This person will end up paying more than a thousand dalasi; so how many Gambians are able to afford such an amount? Yes for salary earners it may be easy but for those of our farmers and other relatives it will be a daunting task for them to get one.
The Gambia government must stop playing with her citizens and tell SEMLEX to open up more centres for citizens to have easy access to such a very important national document. Why can’t SEMLEX open at least one issuing centre in each administrative region in the country for a start; for her citizens to have IDs at less cost with less time and less human resources being wasted?
It is a disgrace for the government and for SEMLEX for not being able to expand the centres for issuance of these very important document to her citizens’ since the operation of the issuance of IDs were opened a year ago.
The government must also come out and tell her citizens how SEMLEX was able to be rewarded the contract as the new contracted is a different one from the previous one.
The current contract is being investigated but despite that investigations the government went ahead and ask SEMLEX to issue IDs for fear of an international arbitrary.
SEMLEX from all indications are investigated in their home country Belgium and elsewhere according to information published in certain big media houses. The fact that they are investigated was attested to by the county’s Minister of Justice at one time during one of his engagements at the National Assembly.
What is of great importance to Gambians now is the fact that Gambians are really feeling it extremely hard to get an ID simply because there are only two places to have one. And even those two places they are located in the Greater Banjul Areas, this make it extra difficult to acquire one. You can imagine only two spot to provide ID to over a million people.


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