“When a social security scheme is inundated with corruption, the inequality gap becomes wider and public trust eroded” says the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) Regional Manager, South, John Lamina. Mr. Lamina made this statement at a sensitization meeting held by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Southern Region Office, to convey integrity and professional ethics messages to employees of NASSIT, on Tuesday 14th June, 2022.
He admitted that despite the temptations NASSIT staff are exposed to, they will continue to serve their clients with utmost sincerity, honesty and civility.
Speaking at the meeting in the NASSIT’s Conference Room, Reservation, Bo City, ACC Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar said though ACC and NASSIT have clearly defined roles, nonetheless, both institutions seek to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens. Mr. Sittar acknowledged that despite the unique challenges social security programs across the world are confronted with, they should not be used as a camouflage to open the floodgate for extortion. He drew their attention to certain provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019 which guides the operations of the Commission.
Manager Sittar further explained key offences and the extant penalties as enshrined in the AC Act 2008 as amended in 2019. He affirmed the Commission’s willingness to join forces with public sector institutions to build integrity systems to prevent corruption vulnerability.
In his statement, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh reminded NASSIT staff of their responsibility to provide retirement and other benefits to meet the contingency needs of workers and their dependents. Saccoh asserted that corruption has led to the dysfunctionality of many State institutions so employees must inoculate themselves from participating in such diabolic acts. He catalogued a number of thorny issues including; making false statements or claims, concealing information, extortion, misuse of contract funds, compromise with non-compliant institutions and conspiracy to defraud the scheme, if allowed to take residence in the administration of the scheme, the genuine intent for the establishment of the NASSIT would be undermined and unattainable.
Mr. Saccoh emphasized that in the absence of checks and balances, deceitfulness thrives and consequently would shrink accountability, inhibit direct foreign investment, and cater only for the privileged minority.
Explaining the rationale of the meeting, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Yangie Deborah Sesay said the enagement was intended to remind employees of NASSIT of their core functions, shared with them some public concerns and how they can contribute in the fight against corruption. Miss. Sesay underscored the relevence of NASSIT especially to cater for old age contributors and depandants. She described the scheme as spectacular because it has helped to assure contributors of a better life when they would have retired from active service.