ECOWAS citizens would, from 2016, be issued with the regional bloc’s Biometric Identification Card to ease movement and aid security in the sub-region.
This follows a recommendation made by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at the end of its 73rd Meeting in Abuja at the weekend, seeking the issuance of the biometric cards on a pilot basis in 2016.
The issuance of the biometric identification cards would enable seamless travel for citizens within the region and remove the requirement for residence permits for ECOWAS nationals migrating to any of the member states.
The identity cards, to replace the ECOWAS Travel Certificate, would be circulated alongside national identity cards of member countries until full implantation.
This would ensure the security of migrants and data management within the sub-region.
The ECOWAS heads of state would be meeting on Monday, December 15, 2014 to review the major activities during the year, including the security situation and the Ebola scourge in the sub-region.
The issuance of the biometric identity cards would also be considered at the meeting where the election of a new chairman for the ECOWAS Authority in 2015 would also be discussed.
source : GNA[/dropcap]