NCRA, Freetown, Friday 5 March 2021 – The Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI has officially presented the report on the nationwide biometric verification, update and registration of Chiefdom Functionaries to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Tamba J.S Lamina, at the Ministry’s Conference Hall, Youyi Building, Freetown.
Presenting the report to the Minister, the Director-General of NCRA informed the Minister that the Chiefdom Functionaries Verification Exercise was consultative, transparent and participatory, adding that stakeholders involved including staff from the Ministry of Local Government, Finance and the Chiefdom Functionaries themselves ensured that the process was conducted accordingly.
The DG said that the Biometric Verification of Chiefdom Functionaries was intended to aid Government in taking an informed decision to support the Functionaries with an improved emoluments and conditions that restores their dignity and esteem in the management of local governance in communities. The rationale for this activity, Mr. MASSAQUOI maintained, was to “harness their commitment towards improved governance, service delivery, community development, maintain peace and stability in their Chiefdoms with dedicated leadership provided by the Paramount Chiefs and local Administration with the integration of their Functionaries and Tribal Headmen into the Central Payroll System that is accountable and predictable.”
Mr. MASSAQUOI said that the verification exercise targeted 1,907 Chiefdom Functionaries on the Payroll of Accountant General’s Department (AGD) submitted to the NCRA for the Verification as at March, 2020 and the names were endorsed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. He reported that data collected from the field was transmitted to the National Data Processing Centre at the NCRA Headquarters where it was processed, analyzed, de-duplicated and adjudicated to ascertain details of all Functionaries verified.
The DG maintained that out of the 1,907 names supplied by the AGD, 1,471 were verified. He added that of those Verified, 17.30 percent (330) were females and 59.83 percent (1,141) were males. “Records of personal details held with the National Identity Management System of the NCRA shows that 23.59 percent (347) are 60 years and above, 27.80 percent (409) are between 50 – 59 years and 48.61 percent (715) are less than 50 years respectively,” he explained.
Mr. MASSAQUOI also reported that a total of 2,865 Chiefdom Functionaries (Official/Unofficial) presented themselves as Chiefdom Functionaries but 1,471 on the Payroll list from the AGD were Verified while a total of 1,394 that were not on the Payroll from AGD but engaged by the respective Chiefdom/ district administrations were captured through an Information Tool that was designed and provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Receiving the document, the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development , Tamba J. S Lamina on behalf of government and his Ministry thanked the NCRA DG and team for executing a national assignment, which was the verification of chiefdom functionaries. He said that the verification exercise was done as a result of President Bio’s commitment to strengthen decentralization, but more so to dignify the effort of Paramount Chiefs and Chiefdom Functionaries.
He said following the official launch of the verification exercise in Koidu City and Kono District on 2nd October, 2020, MLGRD and NCRA with support from the Ministry of Finance conducted a nationwide biometric verification, update and registration exercise of Chiefdom Functionaries in November 2020. “Today officially, since the process was completed, we are gathered here to receive the report from NCRA,” the Minister said.
The Hon. Minister stated that the objective of the verification exercise was to determine the existence of staff at chiefdom level and to develop a comprehensive database of all Chiefdom Functionaries. He also noted that the information collected will help government to take informed decision on restructuring Chiefdom Functionaries and address the human resources gaps at chiefdom level. The Minister further maintained that the work done by the NCRA will help the New Direction Government of President Bio to plan and address recruitment and retirement issues in the various chiefdoms, noting that the database will be sanitized and the payroll will also be cleared up which will inform government and the Ministry of the actual composition of Chiefdom Functionaries at Chiefdom levels. He added that as President Bio clearly stated in the New Direction Manifesto commitment, “we are on the way in dignifying the role of paramount chiefs and that of Chiefdom Functionaries,”
The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Melrose Kargbo also thanked the NCRA DG for all the support towards the successful completion of the biometric verification exercise. She noted that the report will adequately inform government in planning purposes and sanitize the payroll.
It could be recalled that the NCRA in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance conducted a Nationwide Biometric Verification, Update and Registration of Chiefdom Functionaries in all 190 Chiefdoms in Sierra Leone from the 18th- 26th November, 2020 in all Chiefdom Headquarter Towns.
The event was climaxed by a symbolic presentation of the verification report to the Minister of Local government and Rural Development.
*IEC DIRECTORATE, NCRA*