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‘Only a holder of birth certificate is an eligible citizen’

- Birth & death Director

September 24, 2019

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

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Acting Director of the Births & Deaths Directorate Brima  V. Kamara.

Acting Director of Births & Deaths Directorate, Brima  V. Kamara, has stated that only a holder of birth certificate is eligible to be a citizen of Sierra Leone.

“As I am speaking to you right now, anybody that does not hold a birth certificate as a Sierra Leonean, it means that person is not an eligible citizen of this country. People should not underestimate the importance of birth certificate as a citizen,” he emphasised.

The Director was peaking in an exclusive interview with Concord Times at his Wilberforce Street Office.

He said birth certificate is the first and most important legal document that makes someone an eligible citizen of any country, noting that it serves as a guarantee for a citizen to acquire all other important documents including passport.

He said the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) came into being as a result of the NCRA Act of 2016, which created the authority that is mandated to establish and maintain a functional integrated civil registration and vital statistics system in the country that will ensure that all vital events, civil information and data of all people in the country are recorded.

He said civil registration starts from birth to death, adding that it is the primary mandate of his directorate to make sure that every birth and death is registered and recorded in the civil registration register.

He said there have been huge reforms in the births and deaths directorate in terms of issuing birth certificate to citizens, stating that before now people can stay at home and be issued with a birth certificate, which is now thing of the past.

“We cannot issue birth certificate in the absence of the holder as it used to happen before. We now have to see the recipient in person and get all necessary information before issuing out a birth certificate,” he said.

He noted that birth certificate is issued within 90 days at free of cost after birth, and that anyone obtaining it after the stipulated days will have to pay for it.

He said the directorate has noticed that many citizens have more than one birth certificate, which according to the CRA Act is a crime that attracts  penalties, ranging from three to twenty million Leones or five years imprisonment.

He said they have embarked on a nationwide training of medical personnel on the infective birth and death data collection procedures, noting that with support from UNICEF they have trained 550 health workers and 2,800 Community Health Workers.

He said UNICEF has also provided money to issue out highly securitised birth certificate.

He said they wanted to ensure the dignity and respect of Sierra Leoneans by making sure that everyone holds a birth certificate.

He said  the reform will also ensure job creating for Sierra Leoneans wherein none citizens will not be able to compete with them.