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ACC sensitizes staff of Agric. Ministry in Kambia on Corruption

The North-West Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has sensitized staff and volunteers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Kambia on corruption.

The customized meeting was one of the many public education engagements undertaken by the ACC to educate the public on the evils of corruption as well as building public support.

Addressing staff of the Ministry, Regional Manager, Al-Hassan Sesay described the agricultural sector as the backbone of the economy that provides the basic ingredients to citizens and raw materials for industrialization and makes considerable contribution to the economic prosperity of the country.

According to him, being strategic to the economic development of the country, the sector provides sustainable livelihoods, income and employment to rural communities and contributes substantially to the overall development of the state. Commenting on the strides made in the fight against corruption, the Regional Manager emphasized that the sustained presence of corruption has adversely affected the achievement of the aforementioned benefits and the development and growth of the sector in Sierra Leone.

Giving an overview of the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act as amended, the Regional Manager said the 2019 amendment Act has enormously strengthened the ACC and has made corruption very expensive and risky venture for public officers to undertake. He explained various corruption offences but not limited to misappropriation of public funds and property, protection of public revenue, abuse of office and position and influencing a public officer among others. “Avoid being part of a corrupt syndicate and sanitize yourself from corruption. You will face the wrath of the ACC if found wanting for a corruption offence,” he warned. He informed them that the ACC in 2012 and 2016 had made interventions in the ministry that resulted to putting together an institutional anti-corruption policy and monitoring for compliance at the Ministry of Agriculture respectively. The latter, he said, pointed out key corruption issues relating to forestry funds mismanagement and accountability, problems with seed loan recovery, late supply of seed, tools and other implements, poor stores and records management etc.

In his statement, the Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah encouraged the leadership of the ministry to establish and operationalize Integrity Management Committee to internalize the fight against corruption. He further went to state that an effective and efficient IMC will promote strong internal system to controlling corruption on a sustainable basis for the efficient management of resources and maintaining best practices. He also underscored the significance of maintaining high ethical standards and integrity and cautioned them to resist and reject demands of corruption and to be mindful of their interaction with the public as well as supporting the fight against corruption.

Welcoming the ACC team, the District Agriculture Officer, Saidu Bamayange thanked the ACC for considering the Ministry of Agriculture to benefit from the Commission’s public education drive that will immensely serve as a guide to the workforce of the ministry. He expressed conviction that getting the agriculture sector right means getting the economy right and eventually will impact the development of the state.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Jigba Mariama Jabbie thanked the ACC team for sensitizing the staff on various issue of corruption and promised that moving forward, it will be of meaningful help to guiding their activities and operations.

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