OK Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) and the PNG Civil and Identity Registry officially opened the NID (National Identification) office in Tabubil to progress the roll out of NID registrations in the township and Western Province communities.

To coincide with the opening, the Acting Registrar General of PNG Civil and Identity Registry Noel Mobiha, under the Civil Registration Act Amended 2014, appointed Jeffrey Tom of Ok Tedi Mining Limited and Benny Gapi, Team Leader of the NID Project based in Tabubil, as Mine Site Registrars.

The Tabubil NID site office now has the capacity to print birth certificates, have them signed and stamped by the site registrars and issued immediately to clients. The printing of NID cards will continue to be handled at the NID headquarters in Port Moresby.

OMTL’s Managing Director and CEO, Peter Graham said, “Ok Tedi has stepped up this year with a contribution more than three million kina to support the initiative. It’s pleasing to see the progress that’s been made since we began this partnership with the PNG Civil and Identity Registry; as a matter of fact there’s been about 53,000 NID registrations since registrations began in July 2018, which is a tremendous effort from all the teams involved.”

Mr Graham said one of the challenges faced with the program was the communication link back to the NID headquarters which caused some delays with the printing of birth certificates, so the purpose of the facility was to see that there were minimal delays going forward.

“Birth certificates are valuable in getting passports, visas and other documentation. We’d like to finish the project we started,” Mr Graham said.

Acting Registrar General Noel Mobiha said partnering with OTML on the NID project roll-out in the Western Province was an opportunity to find a model that would work, that could be replicated elsewhere.

“When you build models the first thing is to look for a very good partner, and I think we’ve found a very good partner. We’ve been very fortunate to have Ok Tedi as a partner. In saying that, we still have a lot of work to do,” he said.

He added that the PNG Civil and Identity Registry also encourages Papua New Guineans to keep their traditional names which is part of their identity.

OTML partnered with the PNG Civil and Identity Registry for the roll out of NID registrations in the Western Province with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July 2018.