Liberia: NIR Announces Deployment of Mobile Teams

NIR Executive Director Andrew Peters

…Following President Boakai’s public declaration of support

The National Identification Registry (NIR), the government agency charged with the responsibility of producing national identification cards, has announced the deployment of its mobile teams across different line ministries and agencies.

According to authorities at the NIR, the new initiative is aimed at enrolling all employees of the government and renewing expired ID cards as well.

The authorities of the NIR made the decision less than a week after President Joseph Nyumah Boakai made a public declaration, committing his government’s support to the registry.

“One of the vexing problems we noted during our past elections is voter registration and the associated logistical problems, which tend to frustrate and anger voters and political parties,” Boakai said during his first State of the Nation Address to the Joint Session of the Legislature on January 29. “My government will strengthen the National Identification Registry (NIR) to build the needed capacity to capture the comprehensive biometric data needed to feed all agencies, including the National Elections Commission.”

NIR Executive Director Andrew Peters, in a statement issued recently, expressed excitement over the policy statement made by Boakai, promising to execute his vision without delay.

“The National Identification Registry receives with huge excitement this policy statement from the Liberian leader and stands ready to drive his vision for the successful enrollment of citizens into the National Biometric Identification System, which is critical to the enhancement of democracy and economic development,” Peters said.

Peters indicated that unique identification is key for running modern governments and companies, while pointing out that the pronouncement made by the President has invigorated his team to work harder.

“Liberia has taken a long time to join the global unique identification community, but we believe that the country has arrived on this stage, and we are here to stay, more especially so with support coming from the UP-led government,” Peters said. 

Peters continued: “The NIR announces with immediate effect the full deployment of mobile enrollment at every ministry and agency for employees and renewal of expired ID cards across the country.”

According to the NIR boss, the National Biometric Identification System is on an irreversible course. “We can assure that the NIR is ready to work to achieve the government’s agenda,” he said.

Despite some glitches, the NIR has recorded success in different spheres of its operations. The national registry has up to date enrolled 700,000 (13.46% of 5.2 million) citizens and residents into the NBIS, with twenty-seven (27) permanent Enrolment Centers across the country–including 12 centers in Montserrado alone.”

He said there are several mobile enrollment teams, some of which are stationed at various government ministries and agencies.

The NIR has also collaborated with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to remove ghost names from the government payroll, and Peters remains upbeat that a similar exercise will be taken for other government functionaries. 

“In 2018, the NIR, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA), conducted a GoL payroll cleanup campaign using the unique identification attributes of the registry to remove ‘ghost’ names from the GoL payroll. Out of about 80,000 names on the payroll, only 60,000 people showed up at the end of the exercise.”

The general functions of the Registry are to design, establish, maintain, administer, and implement the National Biometric Identification System (NBIS) of Liberia.