All National Documents to Go Biometric In 2010
VOL:1 ISSN:43 The people of Brikama and it's environ on Wednesday December 22nd witnessed the opening of a new office that would take charge of issuing Biometric Identification System to the people of the Western region.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Mr. Yaya Sirreh Jallow, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior told the gathering that the inauguration of another office of Gambia Biometric Identification System (GAMBIS) in the town of Brikama, Western Region of The Gambia is another historic event.
“The opening of the Brikama branch is another milestone in Government's effort to improve service delivery to the citizenry,” he said.
The office, he said will save the residents of Brikama as well as the communities in the Western Region who would no longer have the cause to travel to Banjul to secure an Identity Card.
He noted that his Ministry is honored to be spearheading what he called an important national project, while expressing appreciation on the burgeoning partnership with the Pristine Consulting Company. “It is gratifying to note the success registered by the GAMBIS project since its inception, particularly the rate at which services are brought to the doorsteps of the citizenry, he said.
According to him, the introduction of the Mobile Enrollment Unit is also a notable achievement, as it ensures that Gambians and foreign residents are issued with the appropriate identification documents anywhere in the country without much difficulty or hassle.
He added the mobile team has just completed a tour of strategic towns and villages in the provinces to issue identification documents; these are towns with a population of more than seven thousand each.
He also revealed that plans are underway to send another mobile team to visit other towns and villages in the provinces before the end of this week and to re-visit those previously toured towns and villages.
He also cited that over seventeen thousand (17,000) Gambians and foreign residents countrywide have acquired the new biometric identification card presently and resident permit as per the following distribution; Banjul has 12475, Kanifing Municipality 1854, Brikama 36, Mobile Unit (1) has 2363 and the Provinces 1111.
He said concerted efforts are needed and it means that citizens and foreign residents alike applying for an identification card or resident permit must produce the proper documents and cooperate with the GAMBIS officials.
“Immigration official reviewing an application, means ensuring that only those applicants with the appropriate documents are provided with a national identification card or resident permit.”
For his part the Director of Immigration, Mr. Buba Sanyang said that the new system, is meant to combat fraud on Gambia's National Identity Card. “Henceforth, all non-nationals are strictly advice to keep away from trying to obtain this card because when caught it could lead to legal measures against the individual,” he warned.
He also urged all Gambians to remain vigilant as real backups to safeguard our national documents as the only pride of our national status. For the officers to remain trained professionals and deliver as expected without any due corrupt practices or favour to any, the public's eyes are on them like they serve as the eyes of the department of the Ministry of Interior in executing their duties.
Mr. Hassan Touray, the director for Pristine Consulting they are looking forward to expanding the technology to include Driving License, Vehicle registration, Passport and Birth Certificates.
According to him, the software “Gibraltar”, which is used to produce the new identity card, was built by Pristine Consulting, adding that some of the people involved in building the software have never traveled outside the shores of this country. “It is a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit that today, we stand to inaugurate a highly complex and sophisticated system built by indigenous talent,” he said.
He said that the project has giving an unprecedented insight into the structure and nature of our society, an insight that will allow policy makers to make better and more accurate plans.
“The GAMBIS project is important not only because it produces national documents, but also serves as a platform on which multiple types of services such as Health Management Systems and Credit Rating Systems can be provided.