By Abubakarr Harding
In a groundbreaking development aimed at bolstering the reliability of identity verification across various governmental sectors, the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has forged a pivotal partnership with the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA). The agreement, which was finalized at the NCRA office on Thursday, October 26, 2023, seeks to ensure that every Sierra Leonean possesses a distinctive identification with consistent information accessible across all institutions.
The crux of the collaboration lies in granting the SLRSA authorized access to the NCRA’s identity verification platform. This strategic alliance empowers the SLRSA to meticulously authenticate and validate the personal information of their clientele, particularly those engaging in various services such as vehicle registration, driving license applications etc.
Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi, Director General of the NCRA, underscored the extensive efforts invested in testing the integration system alongside the technical teams of both institutions over the past months. “Our integrated system has seamlessly aligned with that of the SLRSA,” he confirmed. This compatibility guarantees the synchronization of personal data, ensuring uniformity and precision across all governmental sectors.
Massaquoi further stressed the vital necessity of ensuring accountability for all registered vehicles and issued licenses within the country. “Curbing corruption and malpractice is imperative,” he asserted, citing successful interventions by their system over the past month. With the National Identification Number (NIN) in place as a statutory requirement, he expressed confidence that this initiative would restore integrity and coherence to the identity framework, effectively resolving the persistent issue of data replication.
The Director General emphasized that the NIN serves as an exclusive identifier that remains unique even in the unfortunate event of an individual’s demise. “Our focus remains on spearheading Sierra Leone’s digital transformation,” he remarked. “As a Government, our goal is to enhance the overall quality of life for all citizens, particularly by facilitating seamless and secure personal transactions within the country.”
He added that the collaboration between the NCRA and SLRSA signifies a crucial milestone in Sierra Leone’s journey towards robust and responsible identity management. With an unwavering commitment to transparency and efficiency, according to him, the Government is resolute in its endeavors to foster a secure and dependable environment for all citizens, paving the way for a more streamlined and trustworthy public service experience.
Executive Director of SLRSA, Rev. Smart K. Senessie, highlighted the close collaboration between their technical teams in recent months, aimed at advancing the agenda of His Excellency the President for efficient service delivery. He noted that prior to January of this year, their systems faced challenges concerning licenses and vehicle registration. However, with the signing of agreements with Autospect, their license system has seen significant improvements, necessitating clients to undergo biometric fingerprinting and enjoy enhanced services.
He hailed the integration of their system with the NCRA database as a significant step in the right direction, emphasizing that it would help minimize errors, as individuals would need to provide their national identification number, present on the National ID card, for registration. The Executive Director added that once the NIN is inputted, SLRSA would automatically receive the customer’s comprehensive details, reducing processing time and ensuring accurate documentation for services such as driver’s license issuance and life card registration without delay or errors.