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Legislators Express Commitment to National Biometric Identification System

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At the two-day retreat, organized by the National Identification Registry or NIR, the senators expressed their commitment to the production of National ID Cards for citizens and residents of Liberia.

The Act creating the Registry was passed into law and signed by the President since 2011. The Senators urged the Registry to double its efforts if it were to meet its target of producing citizens and residents ID cards by February 2017.

But speaking during the retreat, the Executive Director of the National Identification Registry, J. Tiah Nagbe, disclosed to the Lawmakers that the Act creating the Registry was signed into law in 2011 and its management team put in place in October 2015 with its first budgetary allocation of USD$500,000 for the 2015/16 fiscal.

Also making a presentation on the current status of the Registry, the Deputy Director for Technical Services at the National Identification Registry System or NBIS, said the entity needed about US$5m to complete the first phase of the project.

The Deputy Director for NBIS indicated that the project for the completion of a complete population registry has been divided into three phases, which includes the establishment of permanent

infrastructure or Data center, mass enrollment and the construction of permanent enrollment across the country.

In remarks, Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay admonished the leadership of the Registry to make urgent use of the next two weeks in securing funding in the national budget for the implementation of the project, while Sinoe County Senator Milton Teajay called on the Registry to take all security measures to avoid duplication and exposure of the system to fraudulent individuals. Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo – also Chairman of Senate Committee on National Defense and Security added that the issue of national identity was a concern to the entire world, considering the global threat of terrorism.

He said the communication industry was facing a serious challenge in registering all of its GSM numbers in the country due to the lack of national Citizen ID cards. Senator Zargo called on his colleagues to ensure that funds are allocated in the national budget for the implementation of the NBIS.

-Edited by George Barpeen

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