The Ministry of Labour in collaboration with the Bureau of Immigration and Nationalization (BIN) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has begun a nationwide enforcement of the issuance of the ECOWAS Biometric Identification Cards, the Ministry said in a press release on Monday, August 1, 2016.
The ECOWAS Biometric Identification Card is used as work permit for ECOWAS Citizens working within the informal sector of Liberia. The Labour Ministry press release noted that Regulation # 17, Category ‘B’ of the Labour Law of Liberia states that “ECOWAS Citizens who seek employment in the informal sector shall pay a work permit fee of USD$100.00 (One Hundred United States Dollars)”. “ECOWAS citizens who are qualified for this category are ECOWAS Businesses/ECOWAS Citizens with an Annual turnover of more than $250,000.00 (Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Liberian Dollars). This category by law is required to pay an annual work permit fee of USD$100.00 (One Hundred United States Dollars),” the release intimated. The ECOWAS Citizens Biometric Identification Card is also intended to account for number of ECOWAS Citizens working within the informal sector of Liberia. According to the Labour Ministry, Phase one of the exercise officially commenced in Monrovia on Monday, August 1, 2016, and will run for two weeks in Monrovia and its Environs. This phase will target registration of three to five thousand (3000-5000) ECOWAS citizens in this sector and thereafter the exercise will be extended to other parts of the country. The Ministry says the decision for the implementation and enforcement of ECOWAS Citizens Biometric Identification Cards follows series of meetings with representatives of ECOWAS Citizens groupings in Liberia and sensitization on the process. Meanwhile, robust enforcement team comprising inspectors of the Ministry of Labour (MOL), BIN and LRA has been constituted. In addition, the team carries an official letter of assignment signed by the Minister of Labour, Atty. Neto Zarzar Lighe, Sr.