The North-West Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Thursday 16th January 2020 held a sensitization meeting on corruption with staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security at the Ministry's Conference Hall in Port Loko.
The customized meeting was one of the many public education engagements undertaken by the Commission to educate the public on the evils of corruption as well as building public support.
Giving an overview of the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act as amended, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said corruption has become a very expensive and risky venture for public officers to undertake. He reminded all that ACC has fully increased it's presence in the region and it will no longer be business as usual in the delivery of service by public officers. He made a comprehensible explanation on possession of unexplained wealth, corrupt acquisition of wealth, offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, using influence for corrupt purposes, misappropriation of public funds and property, among others.
He warned them to desist from corrupt practices and to always maintain ethical standards in the discharge of their duties.
Manager Sesay pointed out that the National Anti-Corruption Strategy has made it a prerequisite for Miniseries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to form Integrity Management Committees that will institute and internalize anti-corruption measures in their operations. He encouraged them to support the Commission and work towards the growth and development of the state. He also informed them that the Commission has issued an official asset declaration correspondence to all MDAs in the region for submission of names of all public officers from grade 7 upwards and other officers with fiduciary responsibilities irrespective of grades.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, Senior Public Education Officer Sahid Mohamed Kamara said the essence of the meeting was to educate staff of the Ministry of Agriculture on what constitute corruption in their operations and solicit their support in the fight against corruption.
The Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah pointed out that corruption has permeated society and its effects have been devastating to the development of the state. He noted that as citizens, reporting corruption can be regarded as a demonstration of support to the fight against graft and also being part of the development of the nation. He stated that the public occupies an integral part in combating corruption and must play a significant role in resisting, rejecting and reporting corruption at all times.
Delivering the vote of thanks, the District Agriculture Officer Charles Bangura expressed thanks and appreciation to ACC for educating the workforce of the ministry adding, that most offences are committed as a result of ignorance. He encouraged staff of the Ministry to declare their assets and endeavour to work within the remits of the law.