Over the next 45 days, Kenyan residents from age 6 years are expected to give their bio data at a chief’s office near them to acquire a unique primary identifier (Huduma Namba). The number is essential in identifying them as Kenyan citizens and also providing access to their personal and functional data.

After acquiring the Huduma Namba, the details will be located in the National  Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS).  This means that there will be no need to carry multiple cards as the government will have access to your bio data such as your nationality, parent/guardian, place of birth, education, marital and employment status.

Your photo and bio-metric details such as your finger print and facial recognition will then  be used to verify your identity.

Using the number, the government will also be able to determine if you have a disability or whether you practice any agricultural activities.

Essential documents such  as the KRA pin certificate, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and certificate of good conduct will also be stored in the NIIMS.

The benefits of Huduma Namba

Rolled out yesterday by President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders, the Huduma Namba’s aim is to increase the speed and improve service delivery to Kenyans.

“Huduma Namba will reduce delays and corruption in the delivery of services such as cash transfers for elderly persons and vulnerable children, issuance of passports and border control,” President Kenyatta said during yesterday’s launch in Machakos county.

The Huduma Namba will also account for all government employees and civil servants. Consequently, ghost workers will be eliminated, reducing the rate of corruption in the country.

The government will also be able to plan and allocate resources efficiently such as subsidized seeds and fertilizers for farmers.

“It will also improve accountability and transparency in the management of NSSF and inform planning, investment and allocation of affordable housing units,” President Kenyatta added.

Security concerns

The Huduma Namba has raised security concerns of with Kenyans fearing that their personal data might be misused. President Kenyatta, however,  has assured Kenyans that their personal information will be secure as a bill is currently being drafted.

“Once passed by parliament, the law will give you the right to obtain a copy of particulars of your personal data in the NIIMS database, restrict data sharing, and ensure security of the data against unauthorised access,” said President Kenyatta.