The National Identification Number (NIN) issued by the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) is now an eligibility criteria to access Sierra Leone passports in addition to work and resident permits effective June 1st 2022.

This is according to a joint communiqué signed by the NCRA, the Immigration Department and the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security.

The communiqué followed an earlier Cabinet approval on the matter, and subsequent parliamentary ratification, approving a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the NCRA representing the government of Sierra Leone and Constrat Systems SL Ltd. To produce multi-purpose biometric and securitized ID cards including National, ECOWAS compliant and non-national ID cards, ID Verification Systems and Public Key Infrastructure featuring a unique nonrepeatable and non-reusable NIN.

The joint communiqué dated March 16 stated as follows: That effective 1st June 2022, all applications for work permits, resident permits, passport and other immigration services MUST include the NIN issued by the NCRA as a mandatory field. That the use of the NIN is to ensure people have one unique identity recorded thereby removing case of double or multiple identities per person which may have security implications, may lead to pranks, identity manipulation and fraud.

At the same time, following the ratification of the agreement between the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) and Constrat Systems SL Ltd. to produce multi-purpose ID cards, ID Verification System and PKI, the NCRA has commenced constructive engagements with various institutions beginning with financial institutions (commercial banks) on the use of the ID Verification Platform the NCRA has established that allows authorized institutions to access limited fields of data of interest to transact their businesses. Institutions so far engaged include commercial banks, micro-finance institutions, FOREX, etc. The engagement is being facilitated by the Bank of Sierra Leone..

According to NCRA, the use of the ID Verification Platform eases (KYC)- Know Your Customer on-boarding, eases customer identification, assures security, prevents risk of transacting business, eases Credit Reference that has stalled access to financial opportunities, and importantly promotes financial inclusion thereby reducing poverty among others. The Platform links financial institutions to the NCRA through the unique identification number of all Registrants issued at birth o tar registration. Similar engagements are ongoing with Mobile Phone Companies and ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). This is to ensure that successful implementation of the Agreement for the production of multi- purpose ID cards, ID Verification System and PKI; a means that reliably identifies every resident in the country whether citizen or foreign resident.