October 3, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Director General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has disclosed that with functioning offices across the country, they have been able to capture the biometric details as specify by international standards of about 5,073, 111 citizens and non-citizens resident in Sierra Leone.
Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi told stakeholders at the ongoing bilateral budget discussions at the Miatta Conference on Tuesday October 1, 2019 that the aforementioned number represent75% to 78%.
He stated that before the establishment of the authority, registration system was fragmented and duplicated, leading to a lot of waste of resources and unreliability of data generated in the country.
He said through their registration system, they have been able to make the payroll of government precise and accountable, while saving billions of Leones.
He added that their deliverables for 2018 included the conduct of nationwide civic education campaign on CRVS processes and it benefits and stressed that civil registration is not only for government, but for every Sierra Leonean.
In collaboration with other ministries, departments and agencies and development partners, Massaquoi disclosed that they were in the process of developing a data protection and privacy law to guide them in sharing data.
“Now that we have the data of about 75% of all of us in this country, the law mandated us to share that information with public institutions to support public administration and governance for various services. But the law also reminded us that the sharing of such information must be guided by law. The law has not been enforced and so we as NCRA have been working to get that law in place,” he said.
He however noted that out of the approved budget Le2.4billion for 2018, they have only received a little over Le1.5billion with an outstanding of Le915, 326million.
For the 2020 financial year, the NCRA Director General said they will be upgrading the CRVS system in a bid to network it with other priority and financial institutions and operationalize the call center to report occurrences of vital events in maintaining an up to date register.
“Being constructively ambitious, we estimate a budget of Le12.826billion for 2020, mindful of the budget ceiling of Le2.5billion to implement these activities to support the implementation of good governance endeavours,” Massaquoi disclosed.
He implored the panel and civil society representatives and non-state actors present to consider supporting their proposed ‘moderate’ budget to aid them in implementing CRVS and identity management system which is in line with international standards.
He added that the excesses in the budget take into consideration the availability of 17 operational vehicles for field offices to aid their operations and training of staff.
“We need the funds to ensure the maintenance and upgrade of the ICT and identity management infrastructure. With this infrastructure, we have been and will continue to save millions of Leones and generate resources for government and preventing risks associated with security and identity fraud,” he assured.
He concluded by emphasizing that CRVS identity management remained pivotal to realizing accountable service delivery, efficient public administration and good governance in the country.