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JAMAICA | Holness relents, wants more dialogue on controversial NIDS

Featured Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the Annual Conference of the governing Jamaica Labour Party on Sunday Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the Annual Conference of the governing Jamaica Labour Party on Sunday
KINGSTON, November 26, 2016 - Prime Minister Andrew Holness seems to have yielded to public pressure in relation to the National Identification and Registration Act, NIDS, as he has now suggested that he is still open to discussions on how to shape impact of  the NIDS which was recently passed by both Houses of Parliament.

The Prime Minister, Sunday afternoon told the public session of the Annual Conference of the governing Jamaica Labour Party,  that he was interested in having further dialogue on the measure before it is implemented.

He said the regulations accompanying the Act are yet to be drafted, and it was crucial to canvass the views of a wide cross-section of the society so that those views might be reflected in those regulations.

“And so those persons who did not get to submit their views on the NIDS can now do that, because we are going to go island-wide with a public education campaign to make sure that every single Jamaican understands what it is that we’re trying to do,” he said.

The government has presented the National Identification System (NIDS) as one intended simply to provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans.

Under this system, each citizen will be provided with a nine-digit National Identification Number (NIN), which they will have for life.

Mr. Holness, in his speech, acknowledged the concerns of some religious groups about the use of the unique number, in keeping with their interpretation of scriptures.

He said he understood their concerns and will be making a special effort to meet with them to allay their fears.

  • Countries: Jamaica