ACC takes the fight to MAFFS staff in Bombali Districts
The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Tuesday 19th September 2012 taken the educational approach in the fight against corruption to staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) in Bombali.
This was in the form of a sensitization meeting hosted at MAFFS’ district office in Makeni. Welcoming ACC staff, the District Agriculture Officer, Mr. Dennis Paul appreciated the educational drive which he noted would increase their awareness on what they should not do. He told his colleague staff that ACC should be seen as an institution providing guidance and checks and balances.
Dilating on the purpose of the meeting, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay said the fight against corruption is a national affair that was why it should not be left in the hands of ACC alone. He said the Commission was at the Ministry not only to solicit their support but to also enlighten them on the evils of corruption and how the prevalence of corrupt practices in their operations can hinder the development of the agriculture sector and the country. The Public Education Officer entreated staff of MAFFS to be sincere in the fight against corruption and take up the challenge. He gave an overview of the operations of the Commission and explained the methods employed to destroy the scourge in the country. Mr. Sesay lamented over the negative public perception about the Commission and emphasized that it is not a witch hunt institution but working towards ensuring a corrupt free Sierra Leone wherein the socio-economic needs of the citizens are met.
In his address, ACC’s Regional Manager, North, Mr. Patrick Sandi on behalf of the Commissioner and staff appreciated the leadership of MAFFS for actualizing the engagement. He emphasized the importance of the Ministry to the development of the country, which was why the ACC saw the need for partnership in order to enhance transparency. Manager Sandi told staff of MAFFS that the ACC was not oblivious of the poor conditions of service for workers that was why in its systems review of ministries, improvement of conditions of service is a key recommendation. He emphasized the need to embrace and support the ACC by resisting, rejecting and reporting corruption. “It is our responsibility, all of us to see that this country develops and the ACC is in the middle of this. It is only with your support to the Commission we shall move Sierra Leone forward” Mr. Sandi said. The Regional Manager further explained the various ways of making report to the ACC and protection of informants.
In their various contributions, staff of the Ministry raised various concerns bothering on low salaries, retirement benefit, challenges with NASSIT and staff quarters. They appealed to ACC to advocate on their behalf in a bid to address their numerous concerns.
On behalf of MAFFS staff, the Regional Engineer, Mr. Alfred Bash Kargbo thanked ACC for the enlightenment as it will serve as a roadmap for all when they discharge their duties. He said they learnt a lot and would try their best to help ACC in fighting corruption within the agricultural sector. He assured the Commission that they would abide by the warnings and comply with the ACC laws.
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