Sierra Leoneans will now have to settle for basic ID cards instead of the biometric voters card promised by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), APA learned in Freetown on Friday.According to NEC official, the biometric cards cannot be provided in time for the elections due to lack of funds.
The idea to produce a biometric card is in line with a requirement by the sub-regional grouping, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It was designed to serve multiple purposes, including for financial transaction and traveling within the sub-region.
Albert Massaquoi, Director of Outreach and External Relations at NEC, said a single ECOWAS compliance ID card will cost US$8 to produce.
He explained that it will amount to over US$24million for the estimated over 3 million registered people.
“NEC doesn’t want to delay so that it doesn’t miss the election deadline, considering the time, money and procurement processes,” he was quoted on Friday saying.
Massaquoi added that after consultation with political parties, they have resolved to go ahead with the cost effective ID cards just for election purposes.
He said they would seek for funding to fulfill the biometric ID card requirement after the polls.
Source: Journal du Cameroun