Approved for Release: Monday 08th, June 2020.

The Prime Minister Hon James Marape MP has expressed concerns that the PNG National Identity-NID Program was a failure and not many citizens have been registered.

He said this last week Friday (05/06/20) when responding to questions from Opposition MP, Richard Maru in parliament. 

Mr Maru who was a former National Planning & Monitoring Minister asked Prime Minister Marape whether an electronic voting system will be used where citizens will use NID cards to vote in the next 2022 national general elections.

He asked whether the government will deliver that and if funding will be made available for it to the PNG Electoral Commission.

Prime Minister Marape in response told parliament that the NID program which Mr Maru was taking charge of as a former Minister for National Planning was a disaster.

The Government has allocated and or budgeted over K200 million but that has gone to waste and or evaporated into thin air without any results.

Today our Marape-Steven Government has put on hold the NID program because of such reckless spending and misuse of K200million by the Central Registry Office managing the NID program’, said Mr Marape.

He said the government needs to do the National Housing and Population Census and the NID registration at the same time.

I want to inform this House that many of the pet programs and projects by the former O’Neill regime were only run in Waigani and did not bear results.

This so called O’Neill-Abel’s NID program was a total failure and disaster and not more than 5 percent of our population have been registered.

It was a shameful project at the lowest level with no citizens given NID cards. 

The Marape-Steven Government as a responsible government is fixing those mess and is preparing to ensure there is a better common roll for the 2022 national general elections, which is important.

The NID project must stay until we have a good census program and record done’, he said. 

Prime Minister Marape said so many agencies of government are asking for the same amount of K200million or more and no work is done and or the work is being duplicated by responsible agencies like the PNG Electoral Commission and the NID’s Civil Registry Office.