31st March, 2023
By Sylvanus Blake, Public Relations Officer (PRO) ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been a pivotal accountability gatekeeper of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project, since its commencement, in the wake of the devastating Ebola Pandemic, which brought about economic and other livelihood woes that entrenched poverty and deprivation.
The ACC had and still continues to superintend the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component of all social protection related projects.
Therefore, the GRM seeks to ensure transparency and accountability in the Social Safety Net unconditional cash transfer to successfully selected poor and vulnerable households, with the physical monitoring of all activities relating to, the identification, registration, enrollment and payment of beneficiaries, to post payment town hall meetings in order to spur beneficiary communities to report all alleged instances of corruption fearlessly.
In continuation of that drive, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie on Wednesday 29th March, 2023 commenced another vigorous supervision of the ongoing verification of the PSSNYE across several catchment communities in the Western Area Rural District like, Newton, Magbaf, 4-Mile, Morabi etc.
Addressing a group of over 150 elderly women who had gathered at Morabi Community for their verification but were constrained as the data of many totaling over 500 initially registered persons were missing in the phones, the ACC Deputy Commissioner assured them that, they will all be verified.
He furthered that "none of you should be worried. We are here to ensure all of you are given equal opportunities to be verified. Those whose data are missing in the phones will surely be verified without fail. We shall ensure that. Your data is with NACSA and it will be provided in the shortest possible time. This is technology, and there will surely be challenges. But we shall overcome and attend to you all"
Mr. Ngobie noted that, the visible involvement of the ACC in the process was a deliberate and calculated effort to ensure a zero corruption threat level to the project. He advised them to be patient to go through the process and further assured all, of fairness and integrity of the exercise.
This sphere of the SSN project including the roles of other stakeholders like the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL), Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB), etc. undoubtedly have helped sustain the admirable success stories of the SSN project that have seen hundreds of thousands of poor households and small business owners receiving their dues happily.
The Deputy Commissioner ACC, like the ACC Czar, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., who always leads by example, has always been monitoring and supervising the implementation of all SSN related projects including, the now Productive Social Safety Net and Youth Empowerment Project (PSSNYE) project.
It could be recalled that the 2nd Phase of the PSSNYE which aims at providing beneficiary households, headed by females, elderly and disabled persons with the opportunity to verify their pre-listed names and information for the identification and enrollment of successful beneficiaries, commenced some two weeks ago.
The PSSNYE is a five-year USD$:40 Million Dollars Social Protection Intervention Project funded by the Government of Sierra Leone, UNICEF, and the World Bank.
This leg of monitoring will also see the Deputy Commissioner traverse beneficiary communities in the Eastern Region.