Government pays $3.4 million for passports

Government pays $3.4 million for passports
Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar, Director General of Immigration, Passports, Nationality and Civil registry (photo credit: courtesy)

The government of South Sudan has paid 3.4 million US dollars to acquire regular passports booklet to a German company supplying the country.

This was revealed by the Director-General of passports, nationality, immigration and civil registry Atem Marol Biar to media on Wednesday at the directorate.

Biar said they have so far received 5,000 regular passports that will be enough to finish this year and that more are expected to be sent by the company in three weeks’ time as soon as South Sudan pays the remaining balance of 3 million US dollars to the company.

Last week they received a total of 600 regular passports and 4,400 were received on Wednesday that making a total of 5,000 and 49,500 nationality cards.

“For long there were issues of the booklet for passport then NC for national ID but now the situation has at least changed and we have received small for emergencies. Last week we received 600 regular passports that are the reason you have seen the centre is very busy.

He said the priority of issuing the regular passports will be given to emergencies such as students who want to go and study outside the country and sick people.

He urged the public who process passports without their proper use to give chance to those who want to travel and make use of it in order to avoid shortages.

 “We are giving them to people who have emergencies like people who are sick, students who are going to different universities and these are people we actually them priority receiving from the first 600”

Biar said the 49,500 nationality cards will be enough to finish the year and urged the public to go to the centre to process it noting that the number is big.

“Today we have received 4,400 regular passports and 49,500 NC for nationality so issues for nationality, there is no problem again this number is very big. Yes, I know the big number in the system but we are not going to use just random printing you will come so that we print it for you” he said.

He said now students who want to reveal outside the country for studies can process their passports within a week and that the system has the capacity to print many passports within an hour.

“So this is the information I wanted to pass to the people that we already got 49,500 is a big number quite a big number they will take time but for the 4,400 regular passports we will use it for emergencies like now we have students who are actually going to different countries they have to be given passport” he notified them.

The director said the issue of the regular passports was arrears but the company gave a condition to the government of South Sudan that if nothing is paid to them they will not produce the booklet.

He also said people in South Sudan want to process passports and keep them in their houses without using them instead of giving chance to people who want to travel like students and urged people who want to travel to Khartoum to use travel documents instead of a passport to help minimize the issue of scarcity.