In 2011, the Government of Liberia created the National Identification Registry, an autonomous agency that would be responsible for developing and administering a National Biometric Identification System for all citizens and residents of the Republic of Liberia. This is no small undertaking, but six years later, NBIS is almost a reality.

About this time last year, the executive director of the National Identification Registry, J. Tiah Nagbe said that the use of upcoming biometric ID cards was being considered for the 2017 elections. At the time, he explained that the rollout of the biometric ID cards would likely take place in three phases:

  • Phase 1 — Setting up the national biometric data center, printing facilities, and enrollment centers.
  • Phase 2 — Mass enrollment of citizens.
  • Phase 3 — Linking the NIR system with other institutions that require NIR information for their work.

Front Page Africa earlier reported on the launch of biometric ID cards in Liberia with registration expected to begin in October. Nagbe held a press conference announcing the program and explaining that every Liberian would need to obtain a national ID card.

According to the Front Page Africa report, each biometric ID card would have a unique identification number assigned to it along with an embedded chip containing all personal identification. While having a national ID card in order to register to vote and interact with various government agencies has been expected, Nagbe said that the card would be used to open bank accounts or even register a SIM card…

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