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ACC strengthens transparency and accountability at NFF in Bo

ACC strengthens transparency and accountability at NFF in Bo

In the quest for greater transparency and accountability in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Tuesday,24th July,2012 engaged the National Fire Force in Bo to apprise its staff about the work of the commission in the region and to sensitize them about the issues of transparency and accountability.  This meeting formed part of the ACC’s periodic customized engagements with public institutions in a bid to make them not only corruption free but also to build their capacity in order to promote effective service delivery.

Welcoming the ACC personnel at the august meeting the Regional Commander South for NFF, Mr Albert Kpaka,expressed thanks and appreciation to the ACC team for engaging them at this time of the year particular when they were poised to intensify their sensitization campaigns in the region on the dangers of fire to the public. He pointed out that even with the little sensitization done in the region much has been achieved in improving the consciousness of people on fire disasters that affected them in the recent past. Mr Kpaka however thanked the Chinese for the proliferation of Chinese lamps which has replaced the purchase of candles that led to the burning of houses of people in the past. He stressed the need for all his staff to adhere to the dictates of the ACC as he described the commission as a very powerful agency that has come to reduce corruption in Sierra Leone. The Regional Commander however lamented about the lack of logistics including vehicles to carry out their work and encouraged the ACC to expedite the provision of their imprest from government meant for the running of the fire station. He promised the ACC that his staff would not indulge in corrupt practices and anyone of them would risk their job should they decide to act on the contrary.

Speaking on the need for both institutions to collaborate in the area of providing the necessary information to stem the tide of corruption at NFF, Mr Wilfred Bangura, Public Education Officer of the ACC, Bo informed participants that they could only do a worthwhile service to the nation as fire-fighters if they do their job dispassionately without indulging in petty corruption. He said he has heard a lot of people discussing the problems the NFF faced in terms of poor logistical provision.Mr Bangura encouraged the NFF staff to be steadfast in their work and improve on their capacity to do more work. He stressed that one of the ways the NFF could thrive in Bo was to collaborate with other agencies like the BKPS and SALWAKO that have close linkages with the work they do.Mr Bangura further cautioned stakeholders who may have the tendency to stifle the work of NFF because they wish to promote their selfish personal interests. In closing, the public educator stressed the need for better coordination of activities with other districts in the region and staff should be alert to report corruption to the Bo office as soon as they suspect their counterparts.

Buttressing the statements of previous speakers, Mr Anthony Samu expressed kind sentiments to NFF for the work they were doing in the region. He was however quick to caution them on the issue of staff indulging in petty corruption, stating that it will not be tolerated by the ACC and people would be brought to book if they are caught. He stated that the Local Councils should be responsive to the demands of NFF particularly if their imprest has been provided by government.Mr Samu encouraged NFF to be patriotic and work diligently for the betterment of Bo city and its environs.

In delivering his statement, the Regional Manager South for the ACC, Mr Mohamed Dumbuya expressed thanks to NFF for the good work they have been doing. He said for them at ACC they would always wish to ensure that MDAs are strengthened both in terms of capacity and quality delivery of services.Mr Dumbuya cautioned participants to shy away from corrupt practices as those found guilty of corruption offences would be fined in the range of 30 million Leones minimum per one count charge. He said he has noted the concerns of NFF and some of them bother on systemic failure which needed some attention. He concluded that the doors of ACC were open for people to make complaints and those culpable would face the full penalty of the law.

The Assistant Regional Commander NFF, Mr Alimamy Conteh expressed gratitude to the ACC for being forthright in the discharge of their duties in the southern region.Mr Conteh lamented the poor state of the NFF which has hampered its productivity in the recent past. He implored the Regional Manager to interface with the Local Councils to task them on their responsibilities to provide imprest necessary to run the institution. ‘The morale may be low because we are not capacitated’, Mr Conteh lamented. He however assured the ACC that his colleagues would not indulge in corrupt practices as long as he continued to be in command.

Questions and answers and other salient comments from the participants formed the high point of the meeting.

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