Le 197.2B For Civil Registration

By: Aaron Bundu Lahai (PRO)

The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Al-Hassan Karamoh Kondeh recently told development partners in a meeting held at the Immigration conference room on Gloucester Street in Freetown that the government needs Le197.2 Billion to undertake the civil registration exercise this year.

He informed them about the procurement of biometric registration kits for the voter/civil registration. The Permanent Secretary however said that the main challenge of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) is logistical and financial support. According to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh, the responsibility of bringing everyone in the civil registration project lies within the purview of his Ministry. He said the meeting was summoned to update donors on the announcement of date for the presidential, parliamentary and local council elections by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and President Ernest Bai Koroma which is 7th March, 2018.

The Minister assured the donors of peaceful and transparent elections and expressed his determination to continue engaging all registered political parties and providing security personnel to guard all presidential nominees.

Western Area Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Miatta French informed the development partners about the ongoing training of Registration Officers and their Assistants.

The Deputy Head of Mission Irish Embassy, John Callaghan advised that the civic registration should be a continuous process in the areas of births and deaths. He assured the Minister of his Embassy’s support to the civil registration project.

John Callaghan however expressed hope that the March 2018 polls would be very transparent.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Team Leader, Annette Nalwojr said they have identified about 800 Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) nationwide and appealed for the continuous registration of births and deaths. She added that they will help support the process of developing procedures for continuous civil registration.

The UNDP Chief Technical Adviser on Civil Registration at NCRC, Mike Zulu said they have engaged traditional rulers on the identification of office spaces in their chiefdoms to enhance permanent civil registration.