President Hage Geingob has urged the staff of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security to be vigilant against the forging and corrupt issuance of national documents.
Dr. Geingob made the call when he inaugurated the new headquarters of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security in Windhoek.
The new headquarters, located along the Hosea Kutako Drive, has been named after former President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
The ten-floor building houses all services of the Ministry, including the issuing of IDs and birth and death certificates, among others.
President Geingob cautioned against the corrupt issuance of national documents as it poses security risks.
"Furthermore, I also call upon the Ministry to ensure that national documents are only issued to those who are entitled to have them. Furthermore, you must adopt a "zero-tolerance" policy for those who corruptly issue such documents to people who are not entitled to possess them. Such practices pose a security risk. It is well known that Namibian documents are highly sought after by some foreign nationals. Therefore, Namibians should jealously guard these documents so that they do not fall into the wrong hands."
Dr. Geingob further hailed the reduction in waiting periods for national documents as a remarkable achievement that compares favorably with international standards.
"I am proud to say that this ministry has come a long way in improving service delivery to our people. At independence, almost all civil registration records were in South Africa. Against these challenges, service delivery was very slow. For example, it used to take months to obtain a national identity card, a birth certificate, a permanent residence permit, a work visa, a student study permit, or a passport. Namibians used to queue in the early hours of the morning to apply for such services."
The building was constructed at a cost of about N$750 million over a seven-year period.
"Remember that you will be working in this building in order to render efficient service delivery to our citizens and foreign guests. Therefore, you should adopt a service culture defined by a commitment to excellence. Our citizens deserve nothing but efficient service delivery."
The president was also happy with the ministry's program of online services while urging the staff to work on the digitization of records and data in light of the fourth industrial revolution.