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GeneralLiberia news

Boakai assures Liberians better standard of living

The interlinked means of identification are poised to facilitate crucial services like voter registration, access to education, health care, banking services, social security, censuses, and surveys.

By Lewis S. Teh

Monrovia, May 3, 2024: President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has assured Liberians that the democratic governance system that he’s building will increase their standard of living.

President Boakai’s senior advisor, Dr. Augustine Konneh, gave the assurance in Monrovia while launching the roadmap for a comprehensive mass enrolment of citizens and foreign residents into the National Biometric Identification System (NBIS).

“The democratic and good governance system we are building is intended to increase the standard of living of our people,” he said Thursday, 2 May 2024.

Dr. Konneh delivered a special statement on behalf of President Boakai at the ceremony attended by development partners and government officials at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Oldest Congo Town. 

He said he was happy to launch the roadmap of a comprehensive mass enrolment of citizens and foreign residents into the NBIS.

The presidential advisor indicated that many building blocks form the foundation of this system, including the assurance of a seamless biometric identification procedure.

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Dr. Konneh revealed that the launch is, therefore, yet another milestone for the government that will bridge the digital divide between Liberia and global society.

According to him, it will allow citizens and foreign residents alike to seamlessly access government services and programs in a transparent and accountable manner, boosting the national economy’s production capacities.

He disclosed that crucial services like voter registration, access to education, health care, banking services, social security, censuses, and surveys will be facilitated when people have unique and interlinked means of identification.

“The system will also help combat crime by ensuring a robust level of accuracy, efficiency, and security that are urgently needed to minimize the risks of identity fraud and unauthorized access to services in the public and private sectors,” said Dr. Kanneh.

Dr. Kanneh explained that the National Biometric System will help resolve problems with the voter registration system that have plagued past elections.

Giving the overview of the launch, NIR Executive Director Mr. Andrew Peters extolled President Boakai for showing dedication and support to the work of the NIR.

He said the institution was established by an Act of Legislature in 2011 to design, establish, maintain, and implement Liberia’s national biometric identification system.

He noted the enormity of challenges over the years that limited the capacity of the NIR, coupled with the lack of political will to make the ID card mandatory as a prerequisite to access all services, public and private.

UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Louis Kuukpen extolled the government through the NIR to consider establishing an integrated civil registration, vital statistics, and identity management system.

He noted that registration and the issuance of the national identification card collapsed during Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1990-2004).

However, he added that the UN is delighted to see that it has been reinstated since 2011, and today, Liberia has a well-functioning system, with the creation of the NIR and the active engagement of other institutions in the issuance of identity documents.

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