$8MNL Biometric For Residence Permits To Foreigners Contract Signed ‘Backfire’ – A Developing Story

According to cogent information in the possession of  this outlet has uncovered that Secret plans are been finalized by the Liberian government and a Nigerian technology company known as Contec Global Limited, for the issuance of biometric residence permits to foreign nationals early 2024.

Contec says it is “going beyond geographical and political borders in biometric technology, agriculture, transportation, mobile and financial technology, telecommunication, and green energy,” but the depth of its expertise in biometrics has come into an important questioning in the wake of the scandal-plagued sega of the National Elections Commission’s efforts to implement a biometric voter verification system.

A leaked document in the possession of the authoritative Independent Probe Newspaper questions the validity of Contec expertise to implement this muti-million-dollar biometric deal.

A restricted biding explanatory notes uncovered by IPNEWS detail inconsistencies of Contec Global Limited County of identity.

In announcing the project, Minister of Justice Frank Musah Dean framed it as part of a broader modernization effort, while Liberian Immigration Service Commissioner General Robert W. Budy suggested it would increase his agency’s annual revenues from $5 million to $7 million.

Budy said his agency was working with Contec Global Limited, a Nigerian technology company.

In the restricted biding document posted 2021, Contec Global Limited, was listed as a company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE-ME), beating other bidders such as two specialized Liberian ICT companies namely RoviaGate Technology and Universal-Press. Other ICT giant’s layoff the project for Contec Global Limited, includes webFX, from the United States, CETIS from the Eastern European country of Slovenia, and TrustPilot from Denmark.

Sources at the Public Procurement Concession (PPCC) confided in IPNEWS that the granting of this contract to Contec Global Limited was done under the covers of darkness without a formal bidding process open to allow other competitors showcase their expertise. This could not be independently verified up to Press time as PPCC executive Director, could not be reached.

This week, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Minister of Justice, during the launch at the Liberian Immigration Service (LIS) offices on October 9.

Minister Dean emphasized that the implementation of this project would significantly reduce waiting times for business people, foreign residents, and partners in acquiring their necessary documents. The introduction of biometric permits will also ensure the smooth regulation of the movement of people while prioritizing security.

“The government is dedicated to upholding high standards within its security agencies, including respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law. The introduction of biometric residence permits is a testament to these efforts.” Minister Dean stressed.

In a significant development, the LIS has embarked on digitizing airport visas on arrival and re-entry permits. Budy emphasized that prior to this initiative, the use of biometric technology had been absent within the LIS’s service provision for foreign nationals.

The decision to introduce biometric residence permits was based on a joint research effort conducted by the LIS and the Ministry of Labor, which revealed the need for digital technology upgrades within Liberia’s migration system. Previously, all aspects of migration administration, such as residence permits, work permits, and visa on arrival, were handled manually. The introduction of biometric permits marks a crucial step in addressing this technological lag.

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