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IDB to consider National ID loan midyear

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced a midyear date for it to consider granting the island the loan for the National Identification System (NIDS).

"The IDB currently anticipates that its board will consider this loan during the second quarter of 2017," said Shelly-Ann Harris, communications consultant at IDB's Kingston offices.

The IDB stated that the NIDS will create an identity card that secures an individual's identity from birth.

"Identification is a key issue for economic development and it is included as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 'free and universal legal identity, including birth registration by 2030'," the development bank said.

The IDB said the NIDS would improve government efficiency, achieve significant fiscal savings, and deliver better services for the citizens.

Furthermore, the NIDS can promote and legitimise trust, which, in turn, will stimulate investment and trade as well as economic growth, IDB said.

The project status remains at the preparatory stages for the IDB. The loan amount under consideration totals US$68 million. The NIDS essentially aims at countering fraud and facilitating compliance with an identification system similar to the United States social security number.

Last September, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he wanted to get the NIDS operational by January 2018.