Inaugural visit of Major General (Rtd) T. O. David Taluva at NCRA as the Newly Appointed Minister of Internal Affairs

The newly appointed Minister of Internal Affairs; Major General (Rtd) David T. O Taluva has made a familiarisation visit to the NCRA as a way of interacting with the top management of the Authority, as well as to have a first-hand update on the general operations of Civil registration, Vital Statistics and Identity Management in Sierra Leone. The meeting which was geared towards briefing the new Minister on the achievements recorded over the years, presenting strategic plans of the Authority, challenges and possible opportunities that can be tapped into for the success of the CRVS/Identity Management initiative in Sierra Leone.

In receiving the Minister, Director General of the NCRA; Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI in his Power Point presentation gave an overview of the Authority, the governance structure of the NCRA, challenges and achievements over the years and planned activities for the next fiscal year.

Zooming on the achievements, DG MASSAQUOI indicated that other institutions before now have been conducting registrations, and there was no central control handling the responsibility at a one-stop shop. This, according to the DG, had the tendency of providing variances and unparalleled figures on recorded vital events in the country. 

Thus, the Government of Sierra Leone, together with Development Partners, saw the need for the establishment of the Authority charged with the responsibility of housing civil registration Vital Statistics and Identity management in the country. 

“With the NCRA support, Government through the Accountant General’s department is now running a predictable payroll, characterised with integrity and accountability,” noted the Director General “The Authority has also successfully introduced and assigned the National Identification Numbers (NIN) to all citizens and other nationals that have registered with the NCRA.” He added.

Another achievement that has been recorded is the issuance of Securitized Birth and Death certificates. This, according to the DG, has been achieved with the support of our esteemed development partners. 

The New Minister was further informed that the NCRA is now visible and operational in all the sixteen (16) administrative districts across the country.

Lastly, the Director General intimidated Major General (Rtd) David T.O Taluva that NCRA, in collaboration with Constrast Systems; an ID production company in the country, now produces and issues Multi-Purpose Biometric Identity Cards to Citizens, citizens of ECOWAS member States and other Nationals. 

“The NCRA provides identity verification services to other MDAs, including the Immigration Department for resident and work permits, National Revenue Authority (NRA) for tax administration, Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) for vehicle registration and ownership and Banks for financial transactions.” DG MASSAQUOI highlighted.

On the governance structure of the Authority, DG MASSAQUOI told the Minister that the NCRA is made up of 11 Board Members, with 6 being Statutory Members and the remaining 5 are drawn from various disciplines relating to CRVS and Identity Management initiative.

On the operations of the Authority, the Minister was intimidated that the United Nations Global office, through the regional office conducted a comprehensive country assessment on the preparedness of CRVS implementation in Sierra Leone.

The Assessment was looking at indicators such as; the legal framework on CRVS in the country, ascertaining the level of awareness on CRVS by the population in order to understand a clear picture of the country situation before the CRVS initiative is rolled out.

The NCRA Director General maintained that the outcome was very successful and saw Sierra Leone as an admirable country administering an integrated approach on CRVS and ID Management, backed up with the unwavering political will the country enjoys.

“Sierra Leone is comparatively second-to-none in the Sub-region as far as CRVS and ID management are concerned.” DG MASSAQUOI proudly said.

In his response, the Minister of Internal Affairs; Major General (Rtd) David T.O Taluva thanked the Director General for his insightful presentation. David T.O. Taluva enquired about the Data protection Bill, which the NCRA, with support from other partners had developed for it to be promulgated into Law. 

DG MASSAQUOI updated the Minister that the proposed Data Protection Bill is now at the Law Officers department for onward submission to Parliament for action.

Major General (Rtd) Taluva noted that the Data protection and the Cyber Security Laws are of immense importance for national security. He added that the NIN can be a tool to contain Money laundry activities, SIM Card registration with Mobile Network Operators and also help minimise other nefarious crimes.

“Let me at this time acknowledge the tremendous efforts made by the NCRA in putting a stop on double dipping issue, which was a burden on Government making the payroll over blotted.” The Minister applauded.

Emphasizing on the relevance of the NIN, Minister Taluva said the United States of America is using the Social Security Number as their own unique identifier, which is being used in every transaction carried out in the country. He maintained that the initiative is laudable and that every Staff of the NCRA must work hard to support the Director General in order to succeed for the bigger benefit of the Country. 

The Minister ended on two notes; one related to Donor Funds and the other with regards to teamwork.

On Donor Funds, Minister Taluva advised that it must be communicated with the Ministry so that it will form part of the presentation made by the Ministry in Cabinet for discussions and clarifications were necessary. 

On the need for team work, Major General (Rtd) David T.O Taluva said he has a Military background and cited that teamwork is the hall mark. He encouraged the NCRA Management and Staff to work together, adding that there are enormous benefits in teamwork. The Minister further encouraged Staff members to be always punctual and avoid lateness to work. 

“Results are only achieved in time when work is done in time.” Said Minister Taluva.

The Minister was accompanied by the Chief Technical Director and Senior Adviser of the Ministry Internal Affairs; Mr. Amadu Mannah and the Head of Media at the Ministry; Ms. Anita Bockarie 

In attendance were all the Directors and Senior Officers of Units of the NCRA. The vote of thanks was delivered by the Director of Births and Deaths Directorate; Mrs. Grace Harman.  

Major General (Rtd) T. O. David Taluva – Newly Appointed Minister of Internal Affairs


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