Liberia: NIR Launches ID Verification

The administration of the National Identification Registry (NIR) has launched the verification system of the biometric identification cards which the entity has issued to Liberian citizens as well as other residents.

The launch of the verification platform is intended to avert the occurrence of fraud at the offense of business owners, government and all other organizations.

In his explanation as to why the verification platform is significant, NIR Executive Director, J. Nagbe Tiah, said with the addition of the verification platform on the biometric ID cards, his agency is offering to the public, it will be easy for individuals and institutions to accomplish some of what were not embedded as features in previous national identification card.

According to Tiah, through the new biometric system, financial institutions will track the credit history of hundreds of people, and allows each person take responsibility of financial matters.

He added that government and private institutions can even run massive health insurance programs with the use of the NIR produced biometric ID cards for all residents.

He said even the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) can use the NIR ID cards for smooth assignment of seats to spectators entering a sport stadium without any worry about fights over the seats at a stadium, but did not say how it will work in the country without electronic devices.

"With all the security features on the NIR ID cards, the Sports Ministry can use the ID numbers, and match them with their tickets. This will mean that, as it happens in Europe and other parts of the world, no one will be allowed to occupy the seat that someone else has paid for; even if they do not show up at the game being played," he said.

About the benefits associated with the verification platform, Mr. Tiah said the process helps in reducing the risk of people being defrauded in business transactions, and that the verified ID cards are used as valid ID cards for cashing as well depositing and withdrawing money at banks.

He said with mobile phones having the application, the NIR will be able to verify numbers of the ID/s through text messages or the internet systems.

NIR chairman of the board of directors, Varney Sirleaf, welcomes the idea, which he described as "innovative and proactive."

"When people with a vision lead a mission, their success is not only immense, but unquestionable as well, because since me and my colleagues were inducted into our respective offices, we have been exceptional in delivering on all of the agency's action plans," he said.

Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson said having a unique identification system in the country is a welcome idea and it should be welcomed by all Liberians and even foreign residents in the country.

"The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) will partner with the NIR to handle issues of game intake, for which I have completely agreed with NIR director," Wilson said.

He added that considering the importance of the same kind of identification system in foreign countries like the United States, Liberia too can benefit from the initiative not only in terms of economic benefit, which comes through the payment for the biometric ID cards, but the security features as well.

Up to present, the NIR has registered more than 130,000 Liberians and other nationals in the country.

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