Internal Affairs Minister Pays Familiarization Visit to NCRA

By Abubakarr Harding

The recently appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Major General (Rtd) David T.O. Taluva, conducted a comprehensive familiarization visit to the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA). The objective of the visit was to foster a deeper understanding of the Authority’s leadership and operations within Sierra Leone’s Civil Registration, Vital Statistics, and Identity Management sectors.

During the meeting, which aimed to provide the new Minister with insights into the Authority’s accomplishments, strategies, challenges, and potential opportunities, Director General Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi delivered a comprehensive presentation. The presentation spotlighted the evolution of NCRA’s role, including its centralization of vital event registrations, which were previously dispersed among various institutions.

Key achievements showcased by Director General Massaquoi included the successful introduction and assignment of National Identification Numbers (NIN) to all citizens and registered nationals. The issuance of Securitized Birth and Death Certificates was highlighted as another milestone, made possible through collaboration with development partners. Massaquoi also highlighted the nationwide presence of NCRA across Sierra Leone’s administrative districts.

The meeting emphasized NCRA’s collaboration with Contrast Systems, an in-country ID production company, enabling the issuance of Multi-Purpose Biometric Identity Cards to citizens, ECOWAS member state citizens, and other nationals. Additionally, the Authority’s provision of identity verification services to various Government agencies, such as the Immigration Department, National Revenue Authority, Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority, and banks, was underscored.

The governance structure of NCRA was highlighted, consisting of 11 Board Members with a mix of Statutory and discipline-related members. Major General (Rtd) David T.O. Taluva was briefed on a comprehensive country assessment conducted by the United Nations Global office, indicating Sierra Leone’s impressive preparedness and integrated approach to Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and Identity Management.

The Minister inquired about the Data Protection Bill, which NCRA, in collaboration with partners, had developed for legislative consideration. Director General Massaquoi updated the Minister on the Bill’s progress and its importance for national security and containing various illicit activities.

Major General (Rtd) Taluva applauded NCRA’s efforts to streamline Government payroll processes and emphasized the significance of the National Identification Number (NIN) for enhancing financial transactions, containing money laundering, and improving national security.

Minister Taluva concluded with valuable insights on donor funds communication and the importance of teamwork. He stressed the need to present donor funds to the Ministry for Cabinet discussions and urged NCRA staff to collaborate effectively to achieve national goals.

Accompanying the Minister were Chief Technical Director and Senior Adviser of the Ministry of Internal Affairs,  Amadu Mannah, and Head of Media at the Ministry, Ms. Anita Bockarie. The event was attended by the NCRA Directors and Senior Officers of its units, and the vote of thanks was delivered by Grace Harman, Director of the Births and Deaths Directorate.


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