(NCRA, Monday 15 February, 2021) – The Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI and some senior management staff have held fruitful discussions with the Director-General of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) Daniel B. Kaitibi and team on the use of the unique National Identification Number (NIN) assigned to every resident for SIM Registration in Sierra Leone.

Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI – Director-General, NCRA

Welcoming the NATCOM leadership and team, the NCRA DG expressed thanks and appreciation to the NATCOM DG for honoring such a national call that is geared towards mapping a way forward to mitigate identity fraud and other menace associated with the use of SIM in the country with both institutions collaborating on the use of the unique NIN that is non duplicating, non-reusable and non-repeatable for SIM Registration as prescribed by law.

The DG also informed the NATCOM boss that through the use of unique National Identification Number provided for by the NCR Act of 2016, ‘SIM registration and reliable database of SIM Card holders/users, every communication and transaction is reliably tracked and accounted for thereby containing fraud and abuse.’

Mr. MASSAQUOI also underscored the significance of the use of NIN assigned to citizens and non-citizens resident for SIM registration in the country in mitigating security risk or threats as it will reduce mobile phone related crimes that include but not limited to money laundering, cyber terrorism, prank calls and impersonation.

Mr. MASSAQUOI further informed the NATCOM DG that the NCRA already has data on 80% of the country’s population which will actually make the process an easy ride.

Daniel B. Kaitibi – Director-General, NATCOM

In his response, the Director-General of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Daniel B. Kaitibi expressed gratitude to the NCRA DG for conveying such a meeting that centers on and promotes not only the work of the two institutions but the country as a whole. He informed the NCRA DG that NATCOM is mandated to regulate the Sierra Leone telecommunications sector, protect consumer interest and ensure fair competition among service providers in the country. He added that they welcome the initiative and they are very much happy to collaborate and work with the NCRA in ensuring that the issue of identity fraud especially among SIM Card holders or users is adequately addressed. “I am happy and NATCOM is ready to work with the NCRA,” the NATCOM DG said.

Mr. Kaitibi maintained that the idea of linking the use of National Identification Number (NIN) to SIM Card holders or users will help them and other institutions like the Mobile Operators and the security sector i.e. Sierra Leone Police in tracking and identifying fraudsters with ease and reliability.

He said that the NIN is unique and can be used by residents of the country in accessing health services, driving licenses, passports/immigration services etc.

In his submission, the Deputy Director General of NATCOM, Amara Brewah commended the NCRA DG’s idea of linking the NIN to SIM Card users or holders in Sierra Leone. He noted that prior to now, mobile operators had engaged the NATCOM leadership on several occasions to see how best SIM Card holders can be effectively traced and accounted for. Mr. Brewah said that with the speedy implementation of such plan by both institutions, the issue of “SIM Card fraudsters will be a thing of the past”.

Abdul Ben-Foday, Director of Corporate and Industry Affairs NATCOM, also added his voice by assuring the NCRA DG of their commitment and willingness in making this idea a reality.

Both institutions agreed on setting up a high-level technical team including CEOs of mobile phone companies to crave the way forward and expedite the process for the consideration of the leadership of both institutions.

John Godswill Lavalie – Deputy Director-General, NCRA

The Deputy Director-General of the NCRA, John Godswill Lavalie was directed by the DG of NCRA to lead the NCRA team while Mr. Brewah will lead the NATCOM team respectively.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.