(NCRA, Friday 16 April,2021)- The Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI has engaged Paramount Chiefs, Council of Paramount Chiefs across the country and Traditional/Tribal Heads in the Western Area on CRVS & Legal Identity in general and on the planned nationwide Confirmation and Registration of Citizens and Non-Citizens resident in Sierra Leone at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall on George Street, Freetown.
The Director-General of NCRA in his opening statement thanked participants for attending such an important meeting within a short notice. He said that this positive response by Traditional Authorities and Tribal Heads especially when the Muslim Community around the world is observing the holy month of Ramadan was a show of patriotism and dedication to good governance and sustainable development.
He added by thanking the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Tamba Lamina for supporting the NCRA in coordinating and facilitating the meeting.
Mr. MASSAQUOI said that he decided to convey such a meeting with the above personalities based on the fact that they are the very people that safeguard government initiatives and the need for them to actively support and participate in the Civil Registration and Legal Identity process and the upcoming Confirmation and Registration exercise cannot be overemphasized.
He noted that it was also to harness the support and cooperation of Traditional Authorities and the cooperation of their constituents in the 16 Districts including the Western Urban and Rural Area to fully participate and cooperation with the NCRA in the conduct of the nationwide Confirmation and Registration of Citizens and Non-Citizens resident in Sierra Leone.
“We called this meeting today to engage and educate the Traditional Authorities and Tribal Heads on the importance of the Confirmation and Registration exercise that government has approved,” the DG added.
The DG announced to the gathering that before the enactment of the NCR Act of 2016 government had challenges in the proper planning and allocation of resources for its citizens due to the fact that there was no single institution responsible for such. He said that this was the very reason by the Government of Sierra Leone established the NCRA to be responsible in the registration and issuance of national Identity card among others to residents of this country.
Mr. MASSAQUOI stated that Civil Registration is a tool for development and that the cooperation and support of Traditional Authorities and Tribal Heads in ensuring that every resident enjoyed such development programs is a must.
The DG mentioned that the risk involved if one does not confirm or register with the NCRA is high, therefore, he appealed to all and sundry to engage and mobilize their constituents to embrace and support the exercise throughout by going to the centers to confirm/correct their details or register if they had not.
Speaking on the role of Traditional Authorities/Paramount Chiefs in Public Administration, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Tamba Lamina thanked the NCRA DG for engaging such a very important fraction of government in planning and implementation of the activities and programs of the Authority especially at a time when the NCRA was about to undertake the confirmation and registration exercise that is the cornerstone to sustainable development, good governance and effective service delivery to the people of this nation.
“It is a purposeful meeting and usually Paramount Chiefs are right at the nucleus of governance and today the NCRA have the opportunity to have a conversation with them, to outline their expectations with regards to the mobilization of their people for the confirmation and registration exercise, an effort which has been endorsed by government,” said the Hon. Minister.
Hon. Tamba Lamina mentioned that what the NCRA DG has just said was part of President Bio’s plan in ensuring that every resident is accounted for in the country.
The Hon. Minister further stated that the Traditional Authorities are the moral guarantor of this nation and they are the people that speak truth to power, therefore, he called on their cooperation and active involvement in the planned confirmation and registration exercise of the NCRA that will eventually lead to the development of the national Civil Register which will adequately informed government and its development partners to plan for its citizens.
He informed participants that this was not the first time his Ministry is collaborating with the NCRA as they have worked in many areas of governance more importantly, the nationwide verification of Chiefdom Functionaries exercise that was conducted late last year. He therefore, commended the NCRA DG for taking such moves and assured him of his continued commitment and support in strengthening CRVS and Identity Management in the country.
The Director of External Relations and Legal Affairs, Grace Harman and the Director of Operations and Services, Abubakarr Javombo of the NCRA delivered presentations on the overview of CRVS and Identity Management Systems and the Update of the Confirmation and Registration exercise respectively.
Mr. Javombo informed participants that one unique feature of the confirmation and registration exercise was that registrants have the opportunity to confirm their personal details at any of the NCRA designated centers in the country and that those who have not registered can also do so at any of the centers during the exercise.
Speaking on the role of Traditional Authorities in Civil Registration, the Chairman, National Council of Paramount Chiefs, Hon. P.C Sheku Amadu Tejan Fasuluku-Sonsiama III thanked the NCRA DG for recognizing the role of Paramount Chiefs and Tribal Heads in the activities and programs of the NCRA. He informed his colleague Paramount Chiefs that their role in enhancing civil registration and identity management in the country especially the confirmation and registration exercise was to ensure that they educate and mobilize their people to participate throughout the process.
He informed the DG that the confirmation and registration exercise is timely and of essence to them as it will give them the opportunity to correct their personal details as their Chieftaincy titles which are preceded by number was not included in the last voters registration.
He thanked the DG for his role played in weeding out ghost workers through the Verification of Chiefdom Functionaries and assured him of their commitment, collaboration and support throughout the exercise.
Sahr Orlando Gbekie, the Kono Tribal Head and Chairman, Council of Tribal Heads Western Area, also expressed thanks and appreciation to the DG for organizing such an educative meeting that is geared towards national development. He also committed his support towards the process.
P.C Madam Wokie Massaquoi II of Pujehun District applauded the DG for acknowledging them as important people in the process of civil registration and identity management in the country. She said that this move by the DG has demonstrated that the NCRA is an institution that believes in collaboration and inclusiveness.
Other Paramount Chiefs also pledged their support and commitment towards the process.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Melrose Kargbo and the Director of Local Government, Brima Newman Combey also expressed their appreciation to the NCRA DG and encouraged the Traditional Authorities to support the confirmation and registration exercise and to take the message to their people.
The Deputy-Director General of the NCRA, John Godswill Lavalie thanked participants for their support in ensuring that the meeting was a success. He encouraged all and sundry to support the NCRA in the development of the National Civil Register by participating in the upcoming confirmation and registration exercise.
IEC Directorate, NCRA