New NIDS a necessary tool

New NIDS a necessary tool

Friday, January 22, 2021

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Dear Editor,

Congratulations are in order to the Government for moving to re-table the new legislation for the national identification system (NIDS).

I must admit I did have some initial concerns about NIDS; however, after seeing one of the presentations I felt more comfortable.

I'd like to express my appreciation and approval for how the Government has moved to handle the new NIDS.

Based on the prime minister's remarks, this new NIDS will be voluntary, rather than mandatory, and is compliant with the constitutional court's ruling. The introduction of the joint select committee to the legislative process, inviting public review and weigh-in, finally demonstrates that the implementation of NIDS is for the people, rather than a plot against us.

I fully hope that the public takes advantage of this opportunity. I encourage all citizens if you have scepticism, doubts, questions, concerns of any kind, now is the opportunity to clarify, so make yourself available to attend a meeting, learn more, and ask questions. I have seen some valid concerns circulating, but equally I have seen misinformation that is lending to heightened fear and pushback.

All I want is the truth!

Let us exercise our right and make use of the opportunity to participate in the development of a system that, if done right, could work for us more than it works against us. Let us, as a nation, be proactive in ensuring that we are not simply protesting change because we have grown accustomed to the way things are.

The year 2020 demonstrated that there is indeed need for our systems to be integrated and updated to ensure citizen equity and access to national benefits as well as government and private services. We can't continue to complain about the gaps in our system and then reject any sensible solution that is put forward.

I urge Jamaicans not to make the conversations surrounding NIDS a political one. History has shown the involvement of both parties in the proposal and ideation of NIDS. Now, more than ever, the ruling party and Opposition need to have a unified voice. If there are genuine concerns bring them to the fore, otherwise let us withhold destructive criticism that always seems to emerge in the name of politics.

Leanne Marshall

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