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President Koroma launches civil registration

May 8, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura

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President Ernest Bai Koroma has on Friday launched the National Civil Registration Authority (NRCA) at Miatta Conference Centre, where he noted that the process was not election related but one that would rather strengthen the democratic process of the forthcoming elections.

 “There are fears and lot of misunderstanding among Sierra Leoneans that the civil registration was elections related. It is also rumoured that the process is a means of delaying the elections. I want to allay their fears that the civil registration is not election related,” President Koroma said.

President Koroma said some people thought that government wanted to use a large number of people to vote in the forthcoming election, hence the civil registration.

 He reiterated that the biometric registration would help strengthen the security and democratic process of the country.

“The biometric registration is unique because it would not allow people to vote twice. It will help to strengthen security and also facilitate the movement of Sierra Leoneans within and outside the country. It will help to identify non -Sierra Leoneans quickly and easily,” he said.

According to him, there were various institutions carrying out different responsibilities without coordination, recalling  that even when National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) was established, there were difficulties of having an authentic identity card, while  NASSIT contributors’ card was revised.

“As a result of these difficulties, and to address the challenges, government approved the establishment of a centralized national register. That paved way for the introduction of a multipurpose national identity card. This type of ID card will provide a social security number that will allow Sierra Leoneans to travel everywhere,” he said.

He noted that there were duplication of efforts in various institutions, waste of resources and adequate security measures were not considered in ensuring that government securitized the cards that were being used.

He added that with the introduction of civil registration, all the expenditures that were incurred into the national registration will be reduced and lots of funds will be saved.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd.Major Alfred Palo Conteh, said it was his desire to the transform National Registration Secretariat (NRS) into National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), which he said has been achieved.

According to him, the civil registration will provide a database, capture and record the identity and biometric details of citizens and non-citizens living in the country.

He said since the enactment of the NCRA Act, government has been engaging international partners to establish and consider the authority in their developmental strives.

He commended Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) for their effort in enacting the NCRA Act and supporting the construction of NCRA structures in every district in the country.

Director General of NCRA, Foday Kamara, said civil registration was a game changer for Sierra Leone, adding that civil registration will target inmates at correctional centres, hospitals, aged home, children living in adopted homes and other places.

He commended development partners for their support and called on Sierra Leoneans to take leadership role and serve as ambassadors in the civil registration process.

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