Liberian Begins Issuance Of ECOWAS Bio-metric Identification Cards

ecowas1The Ministry of Labor says it has begun the issuance of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bio-metric Identification Cards across the country.

According to a Labor Ministry release, the implementation of the Bio-metric Identification Cards is being carried out in collaboration with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the Liberia Revenue Authority.

The ECOWAS Bio-metric Identification Card is used as work permit for ECOWAS citizens within the informal sector of Liberia.

The release quotes regulation 17 Category “B” of the Labour Law of Liberia as stating that “ECOWAS citizens who seek employment in the informal sector shall pay a work permit fee of US$100.”

ECOWAS citizens who are qualified for this category are ECOWAS Businesses/ECOWAS citizens with an annual turnover of more than L$250,000.

According to the release, this category by law is required to pay an annual work permit fee of U$100.

The ECOWAS Citizens Biometric Identification Card is also intended to account for the number of ECOWAS citizens working within the informal sector of Liberia.

The release indicated that implementation of phase one of the exercise started officially in Monrovia on Monday, August 1, and runs for two weeks in Monrovia and its environs.

This phase is targeting the registration of 3,000 to 5,000 ECOWAS citizens after which it will be extended to other parts of the country.

The decision to implement and enforce the ECOWAS Citizens Bio-metric Identification Cards follows series of meetings with representatives of ECOWAS citizen’s groupings in Liberia as well as sensitization on the process.

Meanwhile, a robust enforcement team comprising inspectors of the Ministry of Labor, BIN and LRA have been constituted and deployed with official letters of assignment.

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About Cholo Brooks 15568 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.