The announcement was made last week that the Gambia Immigration Department will commence issuing Identity Cards on the first of October 2018. It could be recalled that for the past two years the issuing of National Identity Cards was put on halt by the Ministry of the Interior.
However, it was announced that this time around, citizens would have to pay a whooping four hundred and fifty dalasis to be issued one. It used to be two hundred dalasis.
Since the announcement was made, there has been an outcry over the high cost of this very important national document. Gambians are claiming that with the level of poverty in the country; and the high cost of living, it will not be reasonable to expect poor folks to be able to afford such an amount just to secure an ID card.
It is no secret that almost all basic commodities are extremely expensive at the moment and that prices keep hiking almost by the week and thus, it will be understandable if citizens claim that this ID card will be unaffordable by the majority of the people.
Some activists and political commentators have even gone to the extent of calling on the public to boycott the new identity card because it is simply too expensive.
The government of the Gambia should find ways and means of reducing the cost to something that will be affordable by everyone. Otherwise, they risk seeing people just avoid getting the ID card.