Thursday 26 November, 2020

Bruce Golding rejects church’s ‘superstition’ about NIDS

Former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding

Former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding

Former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has rejected criticisms by some church leaders of the proposed National Identification System (NIDS).

In describing their comments as “superstitious”, Golding, who was speaking at a forum at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean’s (UCC)'s New Kingston campus, pointed to two occasions in the past when there was strong opposition and concern about initiatives by the Jamaican Government - the introduction of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and the National Family Planning programme.

Golding said he believes “we will outlive the current push-back”.

In response to a question from the audience about the prospects of NIDS, he said he personally required greater assurance about the security of the data to be collected, and access to the information by unauthorised state agencies.

He was also not supportive of the blocking of access to Government services for persons who are not registered under NIDS.

But he said the matter of a national identification system has been on the national agenda for a long time, but a bi-partisan decision was taken to proceed with the electoral identification aspect first.

Golding said Jamaica is now a modern society which requires effective management involving digital technology, hence the need for NIDS.

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