Under Mohamed Massaquoi… UNECA Boosts NCRA

 

The newly appointed Director General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Massaquoi who took up office in July 2018 is set to play a leading role in President Bio’s drive to plug loopholes in the country’s finances.

Mr. Massaquoi and NCRA also play a lead development role in helping to devise appropriate pro-poor national development policies through providing the Government with accurate statistical data on the dynamics of both the country’s public sector workforce and the composition of the population in general.

In this regard, Mr. Massaquoi and NCRA have had a vital shot in the arm from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

In an official letter from UNECA’s Director of Africa Center for Statistics, Mr. Oliver Chinganya, Massaquoi, expressed his Organization’s willingness to collaborate with other development partners in the CRVS platform in Sierra Leone to provide technical support in conducting a Comprehensive Country Assessment and Improvement Plan including strengthening Civil Registration and Vital Systems (CRVS) system in Sierra Leone.

With accurate date being central to proper economic planning and development, UNECA’s engagement with NCRA is in order to chart a way forward in the enhancement of its data collection mechanisms and other technical areas.

This vital outreach by UNECA to NCRA is in fulfillment of one of UNECA’s function to provide a policy and programmatic framework for the implementation of civil registration and vital statistics.

UNECA also provides a platform for African experts at home and abroad to reflect and dialogue on new directions for policy growth on the continent in order to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, initially called the MDGs.

This development further capacitates NCRA in performing its constitutional mandate of collecting and recording data on all vital statistics and events occurring in Sierra Leone needed to draft a thorough and comprehensive development plan for the country.

NCRA is responsible for, among others, the registration of births, deaths, causes of deaths, marriages, divorces, adoptions, foreign residency, nullities, judicial separation, etc, and a wide range of data collection and analysis occurring in the country. Currently, NCRA is busy at work preparing to issue all citizens with biometric registration identification cards from the data that was collected during the 2017 national registration campaign.

To successfully carry out its wide-ranging mandate, UNECA’s gesture is welcome news, as it boosts NCRA’s scope and capacity to execute its duties professionally.

The UNECA Director General’s letter to Mr. Massaqoui makes provision for him to at the earliest convenience meet with the leadership of UNECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where UNECA is headquartered. The Addis Ababa meeting will shed more light on the technical and otherwise support UNECA will be providing for the NCRA.

UNECA promotes system wide synergies, regional and sub-regional coordination mechanisms, strategic initiatives, policy dialogues, skills development and knowledge facilitation, among several others. These critical ingredients are in vital demand at the NCRA.

Mr. Massaquoi has of behalf of Government of Sierra Leone has expressed gratitude to UNECA and pledged to fully cooperate with the international body for the attainment of their shared goals and objectives which are in line with New Direction development framework of the Government of Sierra Leone.

UNECA holds the Secretariat of the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS) in Africa. Sierra Leone is a leading country in the implementation of an Integrated CRVS System in the Sub Region.

Mr. Massaquoi highlighted his offices centrality to development planning by organizing and commemorating World Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day on August 10th – an annual event – during which he launched the CVRS Steering Committee.

Most recently, his office has been tasked by the Ministry of Finance and the Human Resources Management Office (HRMO) to provide the Government with an accurate data of all civil and public servants in the country.

Determined to perform the task accurately, transparently and accountably, Mr. Massaquoi’s warning to all who will be taking part in the exercise not to give false, fake or misleading information to the verifiers and registrars has caused sleepless nights for thousands of ghost workers that were collecting salaries at the end of month for doing sweet nothing.

They know that they dare not face NCRA’s scrutiny if they are not genuine employees of the Government. This NCRA exercise, officials of the Ministry of Finance have said will lead to the Government of Sierra Leone saving billions of Leones annually that otherwise would go into the pockets of corrupt public officials and people who contribute nothing to national development.

These are some of the strategic national assignments that the new NCRA Director General is performing in furtherance of President Bio’s New Direction vision of a better politically and economically managed Sierra Leone that would eventually be better for its citizens.