BioLink Biometrics is the Core of Nigerian ECOWAS Passports

November 22, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
As of today, e-passports are accepted and deployed globally by a number of countries as an effective tool to protect individuals and their personal information against fraud and counterfeit.

The new passports to be issued for Nigerians contain a digital face photo as well as thumb and forefinger fingerprint templates. Fingerprint identification is based on BioLink’s scalable and fault-tolerant solutions and algorithms, which are among leaders in independent tests. In implementing this project, BioLink co-operated with its strategic partners Iris Smart Technologies Ltd (ISTL), Nigeria, and IRIS Corporation Berhad, Malaysia. As a system integrator, ISTL is responsible for integrating technologies provided by various vendors, rendering the required services, including system maintenance on-site. IRIS is the supplier of the passport disposal system software, electronic inlays for e-passports and is responsible for printing the new passports.

To issue a biometrically enhanced e-passport, the person’s fingerprints are scanned, enrolled into the system and chip contained in a passport. Identification is performed both at the issuance stage in order to prevent re-issuance of the document to the same person and when crossing the country’s borders to facilitate and enhance immigration control procedures.

The biometric component is based on BioLink Automated Multi-biometric Information System (AMIS), being a gigantic and powerful matcher of biometric templates and based on patented award-winning fingerprint matching algorithms. Fingerprint scanning provide support for WSQ (Wavelet Scalar Quantization) format widely accepted and welcomed by law enforcement authorities worldwide. The server part composed of 180 clustered blade servers allows for performing hundreds of thousands of matches per second, with such a speed being a must for the like large-scale identification projects covering millions of people. As of today, the system is supposed to cover the issuance of passports to 6 millions Nigerian citizens (1st stage). Assuming the entire AMIS potential is used to issue passports to all Nigerians, the whole process of passport issuance is about to take 281 days only.

Piotr Pertsov, Director of Business Development in BioLink, says: “Engagement in such a large, nationwide project is another vital milestone in BioLink’s large-scale identification activities. Some years ago, our cutting-edge biometrics and matchers did their best to provide Nigerians with a unique opportunity to vote in compliance with the democratic “one man – one vote” procedures by enrolling 60 million citizens within the framework of the Voter Registration System. Now, we are committed to help them combat illegal immigration and terrorism in compliance with global incentives and procedures. Our work is not done yet: now that the project is commissioned, BioLink will provide the required technical support and assistance, both on-site and remote, for the system to operate properly”.

About BioLink

BioLink, a leading provider of biometric identification solutions, develops, manufactures, and markets advanced fingerprint biometric products. The Company’s products and services form the core of biometric identification and authentication solutions for all scale civil identification, access control and information security applications. BioLink’s solutions provide the optimal total cost of ownership in the industry and are being implemented by corporate and government entities worldwide. For additional information, please visit BioLink’s web site at

About ISTL

ISTL (Iris Smart Technologies Ltd) is a Nigerian-based firm with technical partners in many parts of the world. The Company’s strategic focus is the provision of customized computer-based smart and flexible solutions to private and public sectors, including governments and parastatals. Since 1995, ISTL has been bringing solutions to complex challenges in both the private and public sectors of the economy. The Company employs experienced project management professionals bringing their expertise, knowledge, understanding and wealth of experience of several successfully implemented complex solutions. ISTL has an intimate knowledge of government systems in general and election systems specifically. ISTL has offices in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria.

About IRIS

IRIS Corporation Berhad is a global security solution provider with core expertise in the area of securing government security documents i.e. National ID and Passport. IRIS pioneered the world’s first electronic passport and national multiapplication smart card with the implementation of the Malaysian Electronic Passport in March 1998 and MyKAD - the Malaysian Government Multi Purpose Card in April 2001. These technologies are deployed in many countries across the Asia, Middle East and Africa regions. IRIS also provides a full range of smart cards readers, integrated terminals, card personalization equipment and biometrics scanner to complement the application of its smart card solutions. For additional information, go to