The Executive Director of the National Identification Registry (NIR), Hon. J. Tiah Nagbe says a well-structured and established biometric regime in the Mano River Union basin would help in closing financial gaps in key areas and ensure credibility in the governance systems of the member states.
Hon. Nagbe said biometric enrollment of citizens would help minimize financial burden on member states in several areas including national census, voters’ registration and the proper identification of citizens as they transact businesses across borders in the sub-region.
“For example”, Hon Nagbe said, “a report from the Government of South Africa indicates that since the country launched a robust and high-coverage civil registration and ID system for elections, it has generated an estimated saving of US$314 million over its three election cycles from 2000 through 2014.”
The Executive Director of the national registry made the remarks on Wednesday February 19, 2020 when a delegation of the Mano River Union (MRU) visited the facilities of Liberia’s National Identification Registry in Monrovia.
The delegation was headed by Mrs. Medina Wesseh, Secretary General of the MRU and included Madam Grace Harmon, Deputy Director of Sierra Leone’s National Civil Registration Authority. The MRU’s delegation was accompanied at the NIR by ECOWAS’ Ambassador to Liberia, Amb. Tunde O. Ajisomo and Prof. Sam G. Doe, a Liberian working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Hon. Nagbe also explained to the visiting delegation that the privacy of individual’s data is secured as the information placed on the identification card is what he considered “general information” but the details are stored in the national data-bank.
For her part, the Secretary General of the MRU, Mrs. Wesseh said the sub-regional body was impressed with the level of progress Liberia has made in the establishment of a national biometric system. The head of the MRU called for more consultations and collaboration aimed at ensuring a vibrant biometric system in the sub-region.
The delegation also toured the enrollment center, the national data-bank center and the printing facilities after which Mrs. Wesseh and Prof. Doe, as citizens of Liberia, used the time to be enrolled.