June 6, 2016 By Memunatu Bangura in Moyamba
The ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the National Registration Secretariat has on Thursday engaged stakeholders and people of Moyamba district on a sensitization symposium regarding the national civil registration bill, 2016.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Major Ishmeal Sengu Koroma told the gathering that the symposium was aimed at educating the people of Moyamba about the civil registration process that would commence from 15th September to 31 October, this year.
He stated that the ministry was working closely with institutions under their purview to provide effective leadership and get a safe and secured nation that would enable the protection of lives and properties of citizens and non-citizens in the country.
Major Koroma said the national civil registration would also safe guard civil rights and property of Sierra Leoneans.
The Chief Registrar at the National Registration Secretariat,Foday Kamara who doubles as the National Coordinator for the Civil Registration project said the process of civil registration was not a new exercise in the country, stating that there were other institutions that were engaged in civil the process.
He cited among others, the Births and Deaths Registration Secretariat that was involved in civil registration, but stated that it was not functioning effectively simply because it was either under staff or under resourced.
Kamara noted that some people hold more than one ID cards with different information on them, adding that the new civil registration would get rid of such fraud in the country.
According to him, the new ID card would bear an Identification number for every citizen and that it would provide accurate information about the civil status of citizens.
He added that in the years to come, colleges and other educational institutions would make the new ID card a requirement for enrollment, adding that it would also be used as a requirement for job employment in the country.
“Civil registration is very important. It is good for security reasons,” he said.
The Chief Registrar noted that 90% of children were not registered and did not have birth certificates.
He added that civil registration would help in the development of the country, as it would provide a data base for government to know the exact number of its citizens, adding that without ID card, people would not benefit from the ‘free Health care initiative’ in the country.
He pleaded with Paramount Chiefs to sensitize their subjects as the process of registration would commence from September 15th to 31st October this year, adding that the registration process would also help paramount Chiefs to know the exact number of people in their chiefdoms.
Principal Registrar of Births and Deaths, Samuka Nallo said civil registration is a process carried out in all parts of the world, noting that for any country to develop, the process should be considered seriously.
He emphasized that it was clear that government cannot operate normally without knowledge of the exact number of citizens in the country.
He called on the people of Moyamba to take the process seriously and participate fully in the registration process.