ACC addresses NASSIT in the Southern Region
The Anti- Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 20th March 2013 addressed staff members of NASSIT –South in the Conference room of the NASSIT Regional Headquarter in Bo. The meeting was well attended by over 15 participants including the NASSIT Regional Manager, the PRO and other members of staff.
Given the rational for the visit, the Anti-Corruption Commission Bo District Coordinator, Mr. Anthony Samu in his thought and words said “NASSIT is Life after death” which he meant; NASSIT is hope for workers after retirement from service.
He emphasized that as a credible institution in the country, the visit was not to intimidate or accuse staff of NASSIT, but to remind them of their national responsibility which should not be compromised with corrupt practices. Mr. Samu therefore encouraged participants to be open during the discussions and to ask as many questions as they can for clarity since the Commission is now closer to them.
Addressing participants, Mr. Samuel Marah, the Anti-Corruption Commission Regional Manager-South explained the approaches used by the commission in fighting corruption. These he said are: Public education and external outreach through which public support is galvanized; prevention by reviewing systems and processes in Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and investigations and prosecutions.
On updates on the Commission’s activities, Manager Marah commented on the current GAVI- Ministry of Health case and the Auditor General’s report of 2011 which he said are now under investigations and said very soon indicted individuals will soon be arraigned on various charges. He also provided clarifications on the Asset Declaration Defaulters list.
Speaking on the NASSIT scheme, he spoke of the importance of the scheme which he said was set up to help Sierra Leoneans live when they can no longer work or fend for themselves .NASSIT Mr. Marah said has been able to provide employment for people as well as promoting other economic activities that are contributing to development of the country.
However, Mr. Marah said one thing that could derail and damage all the good intentions and works of the scheme is CORRUPTION. He said, like every other Government institutions the threat of corrupt looms and should not be under estimated. He cited areas to which corruption poses a greater threat – the payment of benefits, management of unclaimed contributions, benefits, procurements and investments.
Corruption, he said, will result in failure to pay full benefits to eligible beneficiaries. It will to lead to the scheme’s reserves been exhausted on bad investments with little or no returns.
To conclude his presentation, Mr. Marah cited that Sierra Leoneans cannot allow NASSIT to fail. He said NASSIT has been remarkable so far and implored participants to continue doing their work diligently and professionally.
Talking on the Offences in the ACC Act 2008, Mr. Wilfred Bangura, Public Education Officer – South, mentioned the issue of “Advantage” in relation to performance of official duties. Mr. Bangura said their should be no strings attached or bottle necks when officers follow procedure in relation to work. He also spoke of Soliciting and accepting “advantage’ as an offence with serious penalties. Mr. Bangura also mentioned the offences of “possession of unexplained wealth” “misappropriation of public/donor funds and property’ and the corresponding penalties. He said public officers should be mindful of whatever they are doing in public entities, Mr. Bangura concluded.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Mohamed Mahoi, Regional Manager, NASSIT – South expressed his delight for such an important meeting as they had been looking forward to such meetings. He thanked the ACC team for intimating them with vital information which will help them carry out their job effectively and efficiently. However, he mentioned some challenges they faced as an institution, and these include; employers failure to make full or no subscription for their workers and the non provision of updated information by workers/employees. He concluded by appealing to the Commission to join hands with NASSIT in a bid to act against non-compliance.
Questions and answers climaxed the meeting while the closing courtesies were done by Mr. Mohamed Bangali, PRO of NASSIT.
Anthony B. Samu, ACC District Coordinator – Bo District
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