This biometric identity cards have been approved by the Heads of State and Government and it is the duty of each member state to issue these cards to the citizens.
The ECOWAS Commission on Friday said Senegal and Benin Republic were set to begin issuance of the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Cards which came into force in January.
Amb. Kadre Ouedraogo, President of the Commission, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the side line of the inaugural session of the fourth legislature of the parliament in Abuja.
Ouedraogo recalled that the 46th ordinary session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in December 2015 adopted the biometric identity card to replace the resident permit.
"This biometric identity cards have been approved by the Heads of State and Government and it is the duty of each member state to issue these cards to the citizens.
"Right now, we have two countries that have volunteered to start to issue; we have Senegal and Benin.
"We hope that most of the countries will follow suit so that by the end of this year their citizens will have access to the ECOWAS Biometric cards.”
The issuance of the biometric identification cards is expected to facilitate travel for citizens within the region.
It is also expected to remove the requirement for residence permits for ECOWAS nationals migrating to any of the member states.
The identity cards would be circulated alongside national identity cards of member countries and would replace the ECOWAS Travel Certificate.
The biometric card is also expected to promote the security of migrants and data management within the sub-region.