President William Ruto on Friday, January 27, gave a new order to his ICT CS Eliud Owalo over the stalled Huduma Namba project launched by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.
While addressing a delegation at Data Protection Conference in Nairobi, Ruto ordered government agencies to actualise Huduma Numba within the next twelve months.
In particular, the Head of State asked ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo to put in place systems and structures that will ensure that Huduma Namba project is a success.
"The Huduma-thing that never was must be a success. It's not the work of the government to issue identification numbers, it is the work of the government to identify the citizens," Ruto affirmed.
Below is the video:
At the same time, Ruto chided former President Uhuru's administration for not succeeding in the project.
The project was initiated during Uhuru's regime in order to harmonise approaches that seek to address duplication of efforts and to cut costs in registration processes.
However, Uhuru's flagship project seemed to have stalled just months before the 2022 General Election.
The Huduma Namba project began with the consolidation of data from primary population registration agencies to the national data management departments in the government.
Through Executive Order No. 1 (2018), former President Uhuru Kenyatta established the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) program whose mandate is to manage Kenyans' identification structures.
"The purpose of this initiative is to create and manage a central master population database which will be the ‘single source of truth’ on a person’s identity," the Ministry of ICT explained on its website.
NIIMS database is configured to run information on all Kenyan citizens and foreign nationals residing in Kenya and to serve as a reference point for ease of service delivery to the people of Kenya.
The initial attempt to consolidate Kenyans' data was conducted in 2005 when the government initiated the registration of persons in the country.