Government Takes Action: Millions of Passports and IDs to Be Distributed by 2024


This year, the Government aims to issue at least one million passports, which is double the number from previous years. Additionally, they plan to distribute three million digital National IDs within the same timeframe.

Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok said the new targets are part of an ambitious drive to make it easier for Kenyans to access registration documents.

The government also hopes to raise the revenue generated from its services which is collected on the eCitizen digital platform to a daily average of Ksh 1 billion during the same period.

“We believe these are realistic targets based on the strategic improvements and investments that we have made to our vital personal registration and documentation systems,” the PS said.

Also targeted for a major boost in generated revenue is the issuance of electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) that replaced entry visas to the country with the government hoping for at least five million visitors. President William Ruto abolished all visas as requirement to visit Kenya from January this year.

The PS who spoke in Mombasa during the annual planning meeting of senior managers for agencies and directorates under the State Department said two new passport printing machines have already been delivered for installation in Nyayo House.

The new passports target is nearly double the 533,000 issued in the previous year with the higher output pegged on the combined printing capacity of 600 passports per hour by the new machines. Their installation is expected to reduce the waiting time for issuing passports to less than 14 working days.

“We will be commissioning the new printers next week. We are determined to render delays in the issuance of passports a thing of the past as we have secured the necessary resources to procure sufficient booklets and other recurrent expenses.”

To decentralise access to passports, permits and other services, the Directorate of Immigration will also open new offices in Nyeri, Bungoma and Garissa and invest in government-owned passport and border management systems to provide real-time data on the entry and exit of all travellers.

In the same period, the government hopes to issue 1.2 million digital National ID cards to first-time applicants and 1.6 million duplicate IDs to build on to the 733,000 Maisha cards it has issued so far.

In line with the presidential directive, the vetting of ID applicants in Northern Kenya and other border regions as a prerequisite for registration will cease beginning next month.

Also on target is the digitisation of 46 million records on births and deaths in the country held by the Civil Registration Services and 2 million records under the custody of the National Registration Bureau.

On eCitizen, it is projected that the number of services available on the platform will grow to 20,000 from the current 16,000 pushing the total number of average daily users to above one million.

“We are continuously innovating and improving the user experience on eCitizen. We want as many clients as possible to enjoy the convenience that it provides so that we can also hit our targets of generating revenue for the government,” said the PS.

On the management of refugees which is also under the State Department, the PS said the government will expedite the implementation of the Shirika Plan which provides for integrated settlement of nearly 700,000 refugees currently in Kakuma and Daadab camps located in Turkana and Garissa counties respectively.

Also planned for is the fast-tracking of documentation and registration of around 200,000 illegal immigrants and displaced foreigners believed to be in the country.

The PS further revealed that the Department had undertaken extensive data protection impact assessment for its operations in compliance with the Data Protection Act.

It had also hosted over 50 stakeholder forums on its programs and projects and partnered with other government agencies in critical national activities such as tree planting and the registration of farmers for subsidised fertiliser and seedlings.

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