The state department for Immigration and Citizen Services plans to implement a new identification system called the Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) to ensure that all citizens are properly identified from birth.
While in Eldoret for a familiarization visit, Ambassador Julius Bitok, principal secretary of state for immigration and citizen services, said that the government has already implemented the UPI and begun piloting strategies to ensure it is effected without a hitch on July 1.
He explained that the number is assigned at the moment of a child’s birth and will serve as identification for the rest of that person’s life, from the time they enroll in school to the time they become eligible for benefits from the KRA, the NSSF, and other government agencies.
Those who turn eighteen will also be issued a UPI number to replace their national ID, while those with IDs can utilize it as their UPI.
“We want our people to be given UPI; it will be one number that a child is given to be used as school registration number from primary to university, as ID number, NSSF number, and on everything up to death certificate number,” he said.
Ambassador Bitok has stated that the UPI number will be how all Kenyans can build a digital identity with the government and use the E-Citizen digital platform to access government services.
“It will be a number that the citizens will appreciate its services, it is the same that will be used to get digital identity, when you want services from E-Citizen, you will use that UPI number. And for those people who have attained 18 years already and with an ID number, their UPI will be the ID number, we shall not have to register people again,” explained Amb. Bitok.
He went on to say that the new identity would be distinct from the huduma number, noting that the huduma number presented difficulties and that the UPI was created in a new way by allocating it at birth rather than after the age of 18 years.