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Over 300,000 biometric identification cards issued

Jun 5, 2012, 12:29 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The biometric identification system introduced by the Gambia government in July 2009 has registered tremendous success, and has up to yesterday seen over 300, 000 Gambians issued with biometric cards.

A Gambia government initiative, the project named the Gambia Biometric Identification System (GAMBIS) is being executed by the Gambia Immigration Department in close partnership with Pristine Consulting Company.

According to officials overseeing the project, a total of 302,637 biometric identification cards have been issued to Gambians from 23rd July 2009 till yesterday Mon 4th June 2012, while 15, 959 non-Gambian ID cards were issued.

Yahya Manneh, commissioner for the Biometric project at the Gambia Immigration Department, told The Point in an interview yesterday that a total of 2235 residential permit A cards have been issued, while 30, 879 residential permit B cards were also issued.

Giving the background to the project, Manneh said this method of identification offers several advantages over traditional methods of identification.

“The importance of this biometric project is that it ensures proper control of the Gambian and foreign nationals through a proper biometric identification system in this country,” Commissioner Manneh stated.

Also speaking to The Point was the Director General of the Gambia Immigration Department, Buba Sagnia, who acknowledged the success of the project since its inception, noting that it has helped the immigration department in bringing to book impostors and criminals who attempted to register through illegal means.

Noting that the security aspects of the biometric system makes it special, the immigration boss said his office has taken steps to expand the already existing biometric stations to the interior of the country, all geared towards providing the service to all Gambians irrespective of location or region.

“We want the security of all Gambians who hold the biometric cards, so that citizens and non-citizens can be free from fraudsters and impostors,” Sagnia told The Point.

“The biometric is a good project, and hopefully we will meet our targets. Few countries in Africa have introduced the biometric and these include Senegal, Morocco and The Gambia because of security reasons,” he said, adding further that every nation wants security, and that is why the government of the Gambia has introduced this latest technology to keep the country secure.

He hailed the strong partnership between GAMBIS and Pristine Consulting, describing it as cordial.

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