Roll out of new EAC polycarbonate passports on track – Minister

Minister Jacob Oboth presenting his statement on passports to the House

Minister Jacob Oboth presenting his statement on passports to the House

The government is on track with the issuance of polycarbonate passports to holders of ordinary passports, the Minister of State for Defence, Jacob Oboth, has said.

In a statement presented to the House during the plenary sitting of Tuesday, 31 October 2023 chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, Oboth observed that a total of 104,000 polycarbonate passports have been distributed since March 2023.

The diplomatic and service passports will be upgraded using the same infrastructure after the current stocks have been exhausted.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs through a multisectoral led committee headed by the Rt Hon. Prime Minister, took a decision to import the polycarbonate passports as opposed to the initial plan of manufacturing them in Entebbe, given that the security printing factory is not yet in place,” he said.

He assured the House that the ministry has ensured a seamless transition from paper-based e-passports to polycarbonate e-passports to prevent inconvenience to the passport holders, adding that the cost will remain at Shs250,000, the same as the paper-based e-passport that is being upgraded.

The government has been under pressure from the East African Community Secretariat over the quality and failure of the paper biodata page e-Passport to meet the agreed and recommended passport standard requirements as set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

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