Students to get fast NIDs

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By SAMUEL BARIASI
STUDENTS applying for loans to pay their school fees can have their national identification (NID) documents processed within 10 days, according to National Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil.
He told Parliament yesterday that a memorandum of agreement had been signed by his department and the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology. “There will be a live link with institutions with a turnaround time of 10 days where all students’ NID cards and birth certificates will be processed,” Basil said.
The Government last week announced a new interest-free tertiary loans scheme which students in tertiary institutions could access to get loans to pay for their tuition fees.
They need the NID documents to be eligible for the loans.
Markham MP Koni Iguan had queried whether students’ NID documents could be processed in time for the start of school next year.
“I haven’t got my NID card and birth certificate yet,” he said.
“If I haven’t got mine, what guarantee can you give our students who need these documents to be eligible for the loan?” Basil admitted that the delays had been going on for some time, with nearly 300,000 NID cards yet to be printed.
“The (machine) that prints cards has the capacity to print 1,000 cards a day. We had two of those printers but one broke down.
“We are using only one,” he said.
He said provinces and districts could arrange to have NID programmes carried out in their electorates.

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