Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gambia to introduce Biometric Drivers License in 2010

The Gambia government has revealed plans to introduce Biometric Drivers Licence next year, after the successful introduction of the Biometric Identity Card system in July this year.

All the necessary logistics are in place and preparations are at an advanced stage to introduce the Biometric Drivers Licence next year, said Hon. Marie Saine-Firdaus, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, while standing in for the Minister of Interior during a question-and-answer session at the National Assembly on 17 December.

According to Hon. Saine-Firdaus, Pristine Consulting, an IT service consultant firm, is currently training personnel of the Gambia Police Force to be up to speed with the new technology.

Veering into the national Biometric ID Card, the Honourable minister stated that since its inception in June this year, it has been acquired by over 10,000 Gambians.

The most notable accomplishments derived from the Biometric ID Card, according to the Interior Ministry, is that the process for acquiring a Gambian national ID card is now more user-friendly and simple but fraud-proof.

Giving some explanation on when the Biometric system is going to be decentralized “to help the rural populace to have easy access to the new ID cards”, the Justice Minister said: “The decentralization process [of the] Biometric Identification System [BIS] has already started.”

In November [this year] a new branch in the decentralization of the system was inaugurated in Kanifing along the Jimpex Road to give access to the communities in the Kanifing Municipality and its satellite villages, said Hon. Saine Firdaus.

In various administrative regions around the country, she explained, a survey has been done and sites identified for the introduction of the BIS. “In the Lower River Region, a structure has been identified in Soma at the old Trust Bank building just about 60 metres from the Soma Immigration Post,” she said. “In North Bank Region, a site has been identified along the Farafenni/Bamba Tenda highway just about 90 metres from the main junction linking Farafenni to Lamin Koto.

“In Basse, two strategic locations have been identified: one situated along the Mansajang Highway just opposite Basse Area Council, the other one is situated along the main Basse highway about 125m from the police station. At both sites structures are already in place and refurbishments will begin soon before operations commence in early 2010.”

Mrs Saine-Firdaus said a place has also been identified in Brikama along the Gunjur highway for residents of the Western Region, and sites will soon be identified for residents of Central River Region.

In addition to these new and proposed sites, a Mobile Unit of GAMBIS for the facilitation of the system has been introduced to increase access to the public. This unit will be visiting different venues to issue Bio

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