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Liberia launches mass biometric enrollment for citizens, aliens

Liberia launches mass biometric enrollment for citizens, aliens

A nationwide campaign in Liberia to register citizens and foreigners into the country’s national identification database was due to be launched May 2 in the presence of President Joseph Boakai.

In a recent announcement, the National Identification Registry (NIR) said it was launching the exercise under the supervision of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, The New Dawn reports.

During the registration process, citizens and aliens living in the country will have their biometric data captured, data which will be entered into the central identification system and to be used by institutions such as the National Elections Commission.

“As a result of the roadmap, we hope to have an enhanced national biometric identification system, which feeds all data, as well as the sustainability of [the] safe environment, proper access to services, and the welfare of citizens,” the NIR Director of Communication, Daniel Sloh Sargbe, is quoted as saying.

This campaign for mass biometric registration comes just months after President Boakai emphasized the importance of the country’s identity system and directed the NIR to expand its capacity and make sure more ID cards are issued to citizens.

Some time las year, the NIR had observed that uptake of the national ID as well as card renewal was extremely low, with less than a million of the country’s five million citizens registered in the national ID database.

Meanwhile, late last month, the Liberian Supreme Court handed down a ruling rejecting changes to some government institutions, including the NIR. The head of the agencies, including Peter Andrews of the identity authority, had seized the apex court to challenge a move from President Boakai nominating their replacements. Andrews and co. had argued that the president’s nominations didn’t follow due process and they came when their respective mandates were yet to expire.

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