Liberians, Foreigners To Get Social Security Numbers

Every Liberian and foreigner residing in Liberia will be assigned a Social Security Number (SSN) through the National Identification Registry (NIR), the Executive Director of NIR, J. Tiah Nagbe, has disclosed.

According to Nagbe, the SSN will be the primary government approved ID number for registration of birth, death, passports, immigrant documents, bank accounts, drivers’ licenses and social security benefits, among others.

Making the disclosure at the Ministry of Information press briefing at the ministry Thursday, Nagbe indicated that many countries in the world already have the system in place which, he said, “is not a new thing.”

“In Liberia, we started creating a national registry in the 1980s when the People’s Redemption Council government announced Decree Number 65 which led to the issuance of the first national identification cards which some people around still have,” he pointed out.

According to Nagbe, this number derived from the NIR created by an Act of the Liberian Legislature on August 1, 2011.

Nagbe indicated that the number will derive many benefits for Liberia which will be a simple way to identify Liberian citizens and legal residents.

He, however, pointed out that one of the enormous challenges facing the NIR “is to find money to set up the registry.”

He added: “The enrollment of our entire population of about four million people into a national registry is no small work; it is like a national election or census which will be costly.”

Nagbe disclosed that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assured that the government will do all within its power and work with partners to support the NIR in carrying out the mass enrollment exercise for the 2017 elections.

He noted that his team will work to ensure that it provides the technical support needed to identify possible sources of financing for the project and options for the registry as well as generate revenues to cover the cost of its setting up and operations.

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