Liberia launches National Biometric ID System
The Government of Liberia through the National Identification Registry will officially launch and dedicate Liberia’s National Biometric Identification System (NBIS) today, Monday, October 30 at the registry’s headquarters in Monrovia.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is expected to cut the ribbon to the building, will also enroll into the system and receive the first national biometric identification card. Senior officials of government, diplomats, and other key stakeholders are expected to attend the program.
This historic event, according to the executive director of the National Identification Registry, J. Tiah Nagbe, will commence the issuance of modern identification cards to citizens and residents, “setting the stage for a transformative program that will change the way we do government and private businesses in Liberia.”
He said the ID system will complement the country’s development efforts in several areas, including national security, immigration, elections, and financial services.
According to him, mass enrollment of citizens and residents is expected to kick-off shortly after the official launch and will take place in eleven enrollment centers across the country.
It can be recalled that in May of this year, the executive director disclosed that the entity is expected to register more than 4.5 million Liberians – who will obtain the citizen ID cards, and legal residents in the country.
The new national ID card system will affect how we transact the registration process in Liberia. The biometric ID card will be required to open bank accounts, to register to vote, and even do SIM registration.
“If you don’t have the biometric ID card you cannot use your SIM card, the ID card will be required to do your SIM registration. You will also use it to open your bank account, do your voter registration, obtain a driver’s license among others,” Nagbe added.
Nagbe said the National Registry office, which would also have a mobile team, is expected to register 50 Liberians a day
He said the biometric cards will be valid for three years, adding that in the future cards will be issued that have eight to ten year life spans.
Stating some of the card’s key features, the executive director of the registry said it contains a small chip that houses the individual’s personal data, including a personal ID number.
Nagbe called on Liberians to obtain their national biometric identification card at one of 11 offices in the different counties, with Montserrado County having 3.
The long overdue exercise is being undertaken through a US$ 5.9 million contract between the National Identification Registry and Techno Brain Global FZE signed on April 11, 2017, and will be implemented over the next three years.
Techno Brain is an information technology company with twenty years of experience that was selected through an international competitive bidding process that involved nineteen companies with vast field specific experience. Under the contract, the National Identification Registry will set up a new biometric civil registry that will issue the first one million ID Cards, including 50,000 ECOWAS standard cards.