A Winners’ Chapel Church member at Black Hall Road in Freetown said he was greatly surprised when the annual statistics wae not read on New Year’s Day watch night in their church. Other people made similar comments.
Among the reasons forwarded by the respective authority for the lack of births and deaths statistics were lack of digital information and the low level of computer capacity of Births and Deaths staff.
The Deputy Head of Births and Deaths, Alhaji S. Nallo, said they are in the process of moving analogue/handwritten records into digital formats on computers. A worker at the National Civil Registrations Authority (NCRA) revealed, “I have already compiled my report (statistics) for it to be submitted to our office headquarters when I learned that the annual statistics would not be released at the end of the year.”
Nallo, said, Births and Deaths was under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and that they normally produce their year-end report under the auspices of the Ministry.
The Deputy Chief Registrar, Richard Konie, said Births and Deaths is no longer under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, but under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
It could be recalled that in 2016, a new Act was passed in Parliament for all civil registration to be under the authority of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), which includes: marriage, divorce, births, deaths, legitimization, etc. said Nallo. He went on to say that the office of the Births and Deaths is now working on a new template, which covers age, sex, region etc. and will soon be digitalized.
He said records of the past years will also be digitalized by what he referred to as an “updated data collection strategy.” Births and Deaths is one of the oldest institutions in the country, and have been in existence for over a hundred years, which helps the government with data, but is still out-dated and fragmented.