By: Martina George, Communications Officer, ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), through its Prevention Department, has engaged the Banking Sector, to discuss ways to combat, collaborate and consult on corruption prevention issues in the Banking Sector. The meeting took place on Friday, 1st September, 2023 at the Conference Room of the Commission’s Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown.
The Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, on behalf of the Commissioner, welcomed representatives of the Sector and their regulatory agencies to the ACC. He highlighted series of reasons why the Commission is involving the Sector in the fight against corruption, one of which is the confidence the Commission has in the Sector. “When the ACC is investigating cases of Misappropriation of Public funds we most often relate with the Banking Sector, he said, adding that the ACC cannot be everywhere at the same time to curb acts of corruption.
Speaking at the meeting, Philip Bangura, Assistant Director at the Bank of Sierra Leone, in his statement, said that the meeting is quite important as the Central Bank has also been concerned about the amount of fraud in the Banking Sector. He said that the Bank is currently moving from the traditional way of Banking into online services, stating that the Bank will be handling a lot of online fraud in the future.
A representative from the Financial Intelligence Unit, (FIU) Foday D. Lamin, also stated the importance of the collaboration between the FIU and the ACC. He emphasized the need for information sharing among members of the sector and encouraged regulators to put measures in place to combat corruption within the Sector.
Earlier, the Director of the Prevention Department, Rashid Turay, while giving the welcome address established the rationale for the engagement and acknowledged the importance for collaboration and cooperation. He said the initiative was a collective Action Approach aimed at making the private sector part of the solution to prevent and fight corruption and provide incentives for private entities to become more actively involved in the anti-corruption campaign.
Deputy Director of the Prevention Department, Samuel Muti Marah Esq, described the private sector as a major player in the fight against corruption. He said the Commission will be working together with the Sector to develop strategies and initiatives to tackle corruption in the Sector.
The engagement with private sector stakeholders represents a significant step forward in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone and highlights the importance of collaboration and partnership in tackling such complex issues.
Suggestions, recommendations and contributions from representatives of the Sector climaxed the meeting.