April 18, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Foundation for Gender and Development Initiative-Sierra Leone (FGDI-SL) has thrown its weight behind the upcoming mass civil registration that would be carried out by the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) across the country.
The organisation on Wednesday (April 12) hosted a symposium at the basement of Alawalle Computer School to educate residents of the Kissy community and its immediate environs about the importance and benefits of the civil registration.
During the event, speaker after speaker called on Sierra Leoneans to come out in their numbers from March 20 to June 11, 2017 to register to help the government plan for their welfare.
Executive Director of FGDI-SL, Mohamed Juana, said the organisation was established to cater for the grassroots, especially the physically challenged and less privileged, among others.
According to him, the purpose of the symposium was to inform community people about the importance, challenges and benefits of the civil registration.
“Civil registration is important because it is a process to get the information of everyone living in the country, whether citizen or non-citizen. It helps the government to plan and cater for the people,” he said.
He said if the government wanted to do anything, they would have a proper document to bank on for effective and efficient service delivery to the people.
He stressed that without a proper documentation of the information of everyone in the country, it would be difficult for the government to trace the information of people committing crime, thus casting doubts on the country’s security.
“The card will serve as a multi-purpose, in that people can use it to perform any function without any hindrance. People can use the card to travel to neighbouring countries like Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. The civil registration caters for everyone,” Juana noted.
Even though there will be challenges when the process starts, Juana encouraged people to go through the process no matter the delay.
Also speaking was the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) Member of Parliament representing Constituency 101, Hon. Abdul Salam Kamara, who emphasized that it is the right of every citizen to go through the civil registration process.
He stressed that the process has nothing to do with the politics of the country as it is a national issue, adding that it will be compulsory for everyone living in the country to register.
“If a country fail to register and get information about those living in the country, especially its citizens, it will be extremely difficult to plan for the betterment of everyone. The registration will put everyone where they belong, thereby helping to minimize the amount of lawlessness,” he said.
According to him, the civil registration would also help the Sierra Leone police in removing lawless and idle people from the streets, as well as capturing the information of everyone.