On Thursday 26th January, four thousand and sixty six biometric registration kits, valued at over US$13million USD, landed at the Lungi Airport meant for the civil registration exercise.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd. (Maj.) Alfred Palo Conteh, said, “The kits’ arrival will send a clear and strong message to the general public that the 2018 general elections will surely go ahead”.
Maj. Conteh said that the kits will expedite the civil registration process and eventually produce a single register that will capture every resident in Sierra Leone. “These kits will ensure that every Sierra Leonean is registered and the issue of double registration or voting will be put to rest,” he assured. He added that the registration will put an end to the issue of “ghost workers” with the advent of biometric registration.
The Director General of National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Foday Kamara, expressed delight to the Smartmatic Company for the timely and safe arrival of the kits. He said the arrival of these kits speak volumes to the fact that the registration exercise is a must and it will be a success.
The DG said, “As I speak we have just received 4,066, equipment, for the civil registration exercise; 3,800 is what government paid for and the 266 kits are spares” he confirmed.
The NCRA DG assured the public of the authority having the required experts to install the kits throughout the country.
The Board Chairman, NCRA, Ambassador Andrew G. Bangali, opined that the whole process of the civil registration hinges on the kits.
Handing over the kits, the Project Manager from Smartmatic, Ibrahim Jaber, said, “I am happy because we have completed the first phase of the contract which is to see that the kits arrive safely and timely in Sierra Leone.” Mr. Jaber stated that they are hoping to pretty soon complete the second phase of the project which is the installation and training process.