WRITTEN BY ABDOULIE JOHN (JollofNews)
– The spokesperson of Gambia presidency has announced that the issuance of biometric passport is now mandatory as the traditional one is no more accepted around the world.
“The information we got is that the non-biometric passport is not accepted. That is why a decision has been taken on the issuance of biometric passport,” Amie Bojang Sissoho told journalists during a
presser held at State House , Fajara.
Gambia government’s decision to adopt a modernised electronic passport document comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the contract that was awarded to Belgian company, Semlex. Pristine Consulting, a Gambia-based firm which was initially awarded the contract, continue to claim their rights. Pristing issued the first phase of biometric ID cards before falling apart with the former Jammeh regime.
The president’s spokesperson said both companies will be working together to provide Gambians with biometric passport.
She added: “People are adopting biometric technology for other forms of identification. The issuance of passports will be decentralised within the country. For diaspora Gambians, they’ve been considered in the process.”
Mrs Sissoho disclosed there are areas that have been selected to allow Gambians abroad to get access to the biometric passport: Washington DC (US); Angola (Africa); Rome (Italy) for undocumented Gambians; Stockholm (Scandinavia); Madrid and Barcelona (Spain).
Meanwhile, concerns are rising about the cost of the travel document as many Gambians are with the view that 3,000 Dalasis is too expensive.