President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday, 5 May 2017, launched the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown.Civil Registration is the system by which a government records (in a continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal manner) the occurrences and characteristics of vital events (Births, death, marriages, divorces, adoptions etc) related to its citizens and non-citizens, as provided by and in accordance with an established legal framework.
In his keynote address prior to the launch of the registration authority, President Koroma said civil registration processes were fragmented, uncoordinated with several difficulties. He stated that the NCRA which will replace the National Registration Secretariat will not only come up with a multipurpose identity card but will also provide a national identification number for all citizens and non-citizens resident in Sierra Leone. He noted that the Civil Registration will strengthen the democratic process, enhance national security and will facilitate the movement of people.
Sierra Leoneans, he said will be proud of having a national identification number, contribute to national security, make huge savings, establish a sustainable system to continuously capture vital events in the country, as well as help government to plan properly.
He urged and encouraged all Sierra Leoneans to go out and participate in the mass civil registration exercise.Making his statement, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Major Rtd Alfred Palo Conteh said the civil registration landscape in Sierra Leone was initially complex, uncoordinated, incoherent, fragmented and ineffective, with civil registration functions discharged by multiple institutions that were weak and under-resourced, adding that the databases maintained by those institutions lacked common set of standards. He pointed out that with the advent of this Act and by implication, various other registration related activities will no longer be performed by the traditional institutions but instead be undertaken by NCRA.
The minister disclosed that the NCRA has been able to construct and equip civil registration Authority offices in all district headquarter towns saying that plans are underway to establish and maintain a National Civil Register System as a basis from which an automated integrated national registration system will be established and maintained.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.