(Bo, Southern Region, Tuesday 16 November, 2021) – With support from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has concluded a two-day nationwide regional stakeholders’ consultative meeting for the Southern Region in Bo City, on the Review of the National Civil Registration Act of 2016 and Development of Civil Registration Regulations.
The meeting was held at the Dohas Conference Hall in Bo City.
The consultative sessions would give stakeholders across the country the opportunity to review, discuss and make valuable inputs where necessary from their respective perspectives on the proposed draft documents.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the meeting, David Ngaiteh Kamara, Senior ICT Officer at the Ministry of Internal Affairs commended participants for answering to the call of NCRA which was to look at the reviewed draft provisions in the Act of the Authority and make constructive inputs and valuable contributions therein.
He applauded NCRA for taking the lead to ensure that provisions in the law that are in conflict with other legislations are reviewed for the good of all and country. He informed participants present that NCRA which is supervised by the Ministry of Internal Affairs was established by an Act of Parliament in 2016 to register among other things all vital events occurring in the lives of citizens and non-citizens resident in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Kamara said that “the EU, UNDP and the Government of Sierra Leone have come to the realization that those provisions which are in conflict with other legislations should be reviewed and harmonized, adding that the EU has contracted both National and International Legal consultants to work together with the Directorate of External Relations and Legal Affairs of NCRA to review the NCR Act of 2016 and develop other registration regulations that will guide the NCRA in its operation.”
He encouraged participants to put all efforts necessary for the two-days consultative meeting. He urged all to support the process going forward, as their valuable contributions, comments and recommendations would be added to the final draft before taken to Cabinet for approval.
In his submission at the opening ceremony of the meeting, His Worship the Deputy-Mayor of Bo City, David J.N. Smart welcomed participants and encouraged them to fully participate in the review process of the draft documents.
“Today, we are here as stakeholders to look at the draft documents and recommend to NCRA what we think should make them stand the test of time” he said.
He mentioned that the process of moving a particular function from one institution to another was something that has to be done in consultation with stakeholders concerned and not just with a single body, therefore, such a meeting would give them the opportunity to either clarify and accept what has already been done by the NCRA.
The Mayor noted that registration of vital events that occur in the individual’s life is something that has to do with the existence of that particular individual and as such it has to be planned and accepted and people must be aware about it processes. He asked that the process should be popularized widely in order to adequately inform the public about the activities and actions of the NCRA.
He assured NCRA that Bo City Council as a senior stakeholder institution among other institutions, will continue to support the activities of the Authority as always and as is necessary.
In his statement, the Resident Minister South, Hon. Mohamed E. K. Alie said government recognizes the exemplary role and invaluable contributions of NCRA towards national development especially in the area of strengthening Civil Registration, Vital statistics and Identity Management.
He noted that the review process would strengthen stakeholder’s knowledge and understanding of the draft documents which will enable them to discuss and make relevant inputs to the document.
The discussions at the end of the process, he went on, would address the many controversies between institutions whose legislations are in conflict with the NCR Act of 2016.
“It is good that we are all here today so that we correct what needs to be corrected,” he added.
He officially declared the sessions open and admonished all stakeholders to take the process very seriously by adding their voices to it.
On the first day of the meeting, the National Legal Consultant, Augustine S. Marrah Esq, made a Power Point presentation on the proposed Amended National Civil Registration Act and Regulations and on the proposed Regulations on National Identity Number (NIN) and National Identity Card (NIC) on the second day.
During his presentations, he informed participants that the consultation process would seek to elicit the views and sentiments of stakeholders, adding that their keen attention and contributions to the process are of paramount importance.
The 2-day consultative session in the Southern Region was climaxed by group presentations, discussions and questions and answer session.
In attendance were representatives of various MDAs in the region, Civil Society Organizations, the Media and a cross section of senior staff of NCRA.
The Southern Region Consultative Sessions ended with a re-cap of the two days session from the Rapporteur and closing courtesies was delivered by Martha Lawalli, Deputy Director, Legal Affairs.
The sessions to continue in the Northern and North-Western Regions in the coming days.
©️ IEC Directorate, NCRA.