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In Port Loko:ACC discusses preventive measures with Agric. Ministry staff

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) North West Regional Office has on Tuesday February 9, 2021 engaged staff and volunteers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Port Loko on various preventive measures.

North West Regional Manager, Al-Hassan Sesay urged staff of the ministry to show professionalism, impartiality, integrity and independence in the discharge of their functions as administrators, field and public officers.

He referenced amendments in the 2019 amended ACC Act and emphasized that the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) will become very effective in public offices as they will cater for swift internal handling of corruption related issues from within.

Manager Sesay lamented that revenue collection drive remains disjointed despite the huge potential of the sector to generate revenue. He referenced the challenges in the Seed Loan Recovery process and lack of accountability in the various revenue streams in the ministry ranging from forestry department, livestock, crops fertilizer sales etc.

He emphasized the need and importance of stores and records management, coding system - for assets management and protection to lessen misuse of public property as key preventive mechanisms in fight corruption in the ministry. He further explained key offences in the Anti-Corruption Act that bother on offering, soliciting and accepting an advantage, receiving gifts for corrupt purposes, misappropriation of public/donor funds and property, and double dipping which are punishable offences.

Earlier, the District Agriculture Officer, Charles Alpha Bangura said the knowledge they as a Ministry anticipate to gain by the end of the engagement would add value to their work output. He described the engagement as one that will help staff to uphold professionalism, integrity and accountability in their routine duties. Director Bangura admonished his staff members to be attentive and keen towards all teachings and explanations from the ACC, and participate in the question and answer session.

Senior Public Education Officer for ACC, Samuel Junisa Sankoh explained how to report corruption to the commission, mentioning the Regional Offices across the country as well as the headquarters in Freetown.

Lucinda Musa, Crops Officer of MAF expressed thanks and appreciation to the ACC for their prompt engagement and the valued knowledge gained from the commission in line with best practice to enhance integrity, impartiality and independence.

A plenary session consisting questions and answers climaxed the meeting.

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