NCRA Boss Appeals to Financial Institutionsa
September 20, 2017 By Regina Pratt
Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has again reiterated his appeal for financial institutions to accept expired national identity cards as well as alternative form of identification from customers.
It could be recalled that the NRCA ceased to issue national identity cards to citizens in anticipation that they would be provided one after the civil registration which was conducted countrywide. While it remains unclear as to when the cards would be printed and distributed, some members of the public have raised concern that financial institutions are refusing to accept other forms of identification other than valid national identity card whenever they conduct business with the said financial institutions.
Afro International is one such institution that has been criticised by members of the public for refusing to accept other forms of identification from customers.
One Marie Conteh told Concord Times that she experienced some difficulty receiving money sent by her daughter who resides in the United States.
She said the form given to her by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) during the exhibition exercise was rejected by officials of Afro International, adding that a bag containing some of her documents, including registration form, was stolen.
In an interview with Concord Times, Director General of NRCA, Foday Kamara, said he had written to all commercial banks, Bank of Sierra Leone, money transfer agencies, Immigration Department, shipping agencies and mobile companies urging them to accept other forms of identification in the absence of a valid and up-to-date National Identity Card.
He maintained that the expiration of a holder’s national ID card does not affect the unique identification number that is beneath the photograph of the card holder.
In the letter dated Thursday, May 25, 2017, NCRA craved the indulgence of financial and business institutions and the general public to accept expired national ID cards from the public, voter registration slip that bears the portrait and identification number of people who registered in both the voter and civil registration exercises.
“The Unique Identification number which holds the details of the card holders in the server or database is what is needed to track down and locate card holders, should the need arise,” the letter stated.
With regards readiness of the ID cards, Mr. Kamara said: “We have just started the process and the cards will be available towards the end of the year or early January 2018.”
He noted that the cards would be ECOWAS standard, while assuring the public of their determination to ensure that the cards are readily available for use by Sierra Leoneans.