By: Alex A. Bah
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project, in Bombali District, North East Sierra Leone, on the role of ACC in the program and the importance and benefits of the Grievance Redress aspect spearheaded by the Commission. This meeting was held at the Community Court Barray in Bombali Bana, Maboleh Section on Monday 13th December, 2021, and was attended by ninety-six (96) community people.
Welcoming the ACC, the Town Chief, Sayo Mansaray expressed his delight and gratitude to the Commission for the engagement, which he described as one that seeks the interest of his people.
Giving an overview of the project, the ACC Bombali District Monitor, Johnette Kanu, said the SSN is a World Bank supported project which caters for direct cash transfer to persons and households wallowing in abject poverty and also those people gravely affected by the COVID 19 scourge. She furthered that these monies provided as intended, have helped some individuals to establish businesses that have sustained their lives. She therefore encouraged her audience to judiciously use their monies to at least better and improve their lives.
Patrick Sandi, Director of the Public Education and External Outreach Department ACC, in his statement underscored the role of the Commission in the project; to lead in the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM). He said that World Bank that is providing the fund, are continuing in this respect because the monies are reaching the actual beneficiaries. This he said, is the core reason the Commission is part of the project, to sensitize and increase beneficiaries' knowledge on the project, its implementation and the expectations of the Commission and its partners on the use and management of the SSN funds.
Mr. Sandi informed the people that the money they are to receive each quarter is Four Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand Leones (436,000). He told them that the registration to be a beneficiary is free and nobody should ask of them to pay a dime. "Before this project was rolled out, Statistics Sierra Leone provided information on communities and their levels of poverty, and that is what was the basis to determine communities that are in this scheme ", he furthered.
Communications Officer, Alex A. Bah updated the people on the remarkable strides the Commission has made in maximizing its mandate. He further provided information on how they too can support the fight, by reporting suspected instances of corruption to the Commission either in person, or by visiting any of its offices in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Kono and Port Loko. He also provided the Toll Free Lines of 515 or 077985985/077986986 , that the people can call and make reports. "The Commission cannot achieve its mandate if you do not cooperate with the ACC to make reports. We rely on your contribution and input, to arm us in this fight ", he emphasized.
Mr. Bah further assured the people that the Commission protects whistle blowers and ensures their security is guaranteed. He equally cautioned that, the ACC repudiates individuals who will make false and malicious reports against any persons. He said it constitutes a corruption crime and it is punishable.
Questions and answers session climaxed the program.
Similar engagement will be held in the Tonkolili, Koinadugu and Falaba Districts respectively, in the subsequent days.
Public Relations Unit, ACC