The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Immigration To Introduce Mobile Money For Alien Documents

The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) has disclosed that it will soon introduce the mobile money payment system for all alien documents for ease of access and corruption reduction. The Commissioner General of the LIS, Robert W. Budy who made the disclosure said, when this system takes effect the aliens will sit right at their business places or homes and make their payments, and the money will go straight into the government’s revenue thereby facilitating the trooping to LIS offices or the various banks for payments.
Additionally, he stated that the mobile system will end the second and third party approach where many aliens have complained of giving money to either LIS officers or other individuals for documents and those individuals consume the money; leading to the government losing revenue and the aliens not getting their documents.
Budy spoke recently during an alien naturalization education or awareness program held in the Township of West Point where many aliens and LIS officers discussed the challenges that both parties are faced with and the way forward.
The LIS boss noted that the alien community engagement exercise which is expected to go nation-wide is intended to produce an alien, immigration-friendly atmosphere and repel any existing fear between the aliens and LIS officers.
“The Immigration under watch will be your new friend rather than a threat. We want to end the situation where you will see Immigration officers and escape,” the LIS commissioner General assured the alien community.
“I will leave my numbers so that you will call me if anyone tries to harass you, because we do not want our African brothers who are contributing to the economy be harassed by unscrupulous individuals or impostors,” he concluded.
“Even though ignorance of the law is no accuse for punishment but we owe it to you to educate you about the processes that will make you legal residents or citizens of Liberia,” said Asatu Bah Kenneth LIS Deputy Commissioner General for Naturalization buttressed her boss.
She said the process of becoming a legal resident starts with registration, because according to her when an individual enters the country, he or she is given thirty days to stay, but if he or she intends to stay further, then he or she has to get registered for additional sixty days which will be free of charge for ECOWAS citizens and if he or she still wishes to stay, then a change of status has to be applied for.
Madam Kenneth explained that change of status is the process of moving from visitor to resident, where the person is now legally eligible to work or do business in the country, and that costs US$100 a year for ECOWAS citizens. She stated further that after every one year the aliens will have to regularize or renew his or her status to maintain his or her legal residency in the country and if not such person will no longer be considered as a legal resident.
The LIS Deputy boss then encouraged all aliens to neither take short cut nor give their money to any LIS officer or any other individual but rather go through the proper channel to avoid future embarrassment for both parties.
Speaking also, the West Point Commissioner William C. Wea lauded the effort of the LIS for what he called an unprecedented encounter and admonished the alien community to do the right so that the government will generate more revenue for development.
The alien community in West Point wholeheartedly welcomed the LIS posture for such a history-making occasion and the majority of West Pointers promised to remain cooperative and law abiding at all times.

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