By Juldeh Njie
The Minister of Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty Monday embarked on a famililiasation tour of institutions under his purview.
“It is a very important exercise today to demonstrate the commitment of government and fulfilling some of its obligations,” he said at the Immigration office in Banjul.
He also spoke of his desire to return the Gambia to a single passport system.
“We went through the features and with time the machine readable passport will be face out,” he said.
“We have one of the best [passports] but not necessarily the best and in this new dispensation only the best is good enough, so we will go for the best and that’s the biometric passport.
“The biometric passport will capture the personal data for the applicant, which will enable Gambians to meet one of the best international standard practices but we have seen it is important that you have your foundation documents correct.”
He also urged the Alkalolu, chiefs, and immigration officers to maintain integrity in issuing personal documents and not to grant documents to those who are illegible.
“There are people, none Gambians out there who want to access Gambian passports and end up damaging the reputation of the country and destroying the national integrity.”
Minister Fatty warned of serious consequences to such wrongdoers. “There are laws and consequences and the ministry of interior will not hesitate to exact the full extent of the law against those individuals.
“Let us apply the law and be jealous of our citizenship because it is an asset that cannot be replaced anywhere. Every nation is proud of its citizens and wants to harness the best for them. The biometric process is a step forward and we understand that it needs to be improved and there are certain conditions that are yet to be fulfilled for this process to be successful”.
He also commended the men in uniform for the good job at the immigration department.
“The entire constitution will be revised but in doing so both the society and the law most change together. We have to come out with the right policies that will enable Gambians to be in the front line in the race, adding that there is technical knowhow and skills but the environment is the problem and we have to take that environment together with the laws, policies”
Speaking earlier, Baboucar Mboob, director general, Immigration Department reminded his men that in order to attain national documents individuals must provide a birth certificate plus supporting documents.