The status of the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (ABC) Secretariat
The Ministry of Information and Communications’ attention is drawn to media insinuationsabout its relationship with the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat. (Photo: I B Kargbo, Minister of Information and Communication)
By way of clarification, the public is hereby informed to note the following:
1) The indicted top officials of the ABC Secretariat, namely Messrs Philip Conteh and Allieu Kamara, were recently part of the Ministry’s official delegation to Parliament in the presentation of the Ministry’s budget which incorporates the ABC Secretariat as part of the Ministry of Information and Communications. Allieu Kamara was even arrested in Parliament during one of these presentations. Apart from that, previous allocations by the Ministry of Finance to the ABC Secretariat have all been channeled through the Ministry of Information and Communications. Furthermore, the ABC officials in question have been attending the Ministry’s weekly meetings – all showing that the ABC Secretariat is incorporated to the Ministry.
2) Despite several appeals and correspondences from the Permanent Secretary to the senior ABC officials to make available information on other sources of funding to the secretariat in order to regularize their financial arrangements for the purpose of transparency and accountability, there had been a total lack of cooperation from them. All efforts to get either the Permanent Secretary or the Accountant to be a signatory to the ABC account or to know the transactions of the secretariat were rebuffed by the said ABC officials.
3) The Minister of Information and Communications does not have to account for one hundred million leones. At no time has he collected for or on behalf of the ABC Secretariat any money from the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM). If there is any evidence to the contrary, the public has a right to know.
In conclusion, the Ministry of Information and Communications would urge journalists or members of the public who have an interest in this matter to always cross-check with the Ministry.
Ministry of Information and Communications, Freetown
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