RESIDENTS OF SONGO EMBRACE THE PAY NO BRIBE CAMPAIGN
Residents of Songo and its environs in Koya Chiefdom Port Loko District, on Saturday 9th June 2018 registered their unflinching support and commitment to the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign. It happened at an outreach engagement organized by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the Community Centre at Songo. The meeting attracted over one hundred and fifty (150) participants including , elders, youths, health workers, teachers, the aged and persons with disabilities. PNB is an initiative of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL), led by the Anti-Corruption Commission and supported by DFID/UK aid and the GoSL to fight bribery and petty corruption.
Addressing the audience, Deputy Director Public Education and Outreach Department, ACC Patrick Sandi said the PNB is aimed at tackling bribery and small scale corruption in service delivery sectors, such as; the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Judiciary, Health, Education, Energy, and Water. Sandi furthered that, PNB enables citizens to anonymously report incidents of bribery and petty corruption experienced daily when accessing public services; stressing the three components of reporting, "I paid," "I resisted," and "I met an honest official".
The Deputy Director informed the public that the platform receives data on MDAs and is accessible on the website www.pnb.gov.sl. Mr. Sandi told the people of Songo that PNB is not prosecution-focused; rather it requires heads of institutions through the Integrity Management Committees (IMCs) to take concrete measures on complaints made in a bid to bring behavior change and improved service delivery.
He catalogued significant positive actions taken by MDAs as responses to reports made on the reporting portal, noting the SLP has dismantled 23 illegal checkpoints and demoted and dismissed senior police personnel as a result of bribery allegations from the PNB system. Further, he said, the Ministry of Education through its Deputy Directors has banned Saturday classes in Makeni, Kenema, Bo and Kono.
ACC Communication Consultant, Olabisi Olu-Garrick dilating on the purpose of the outreach said, PNB is intended to stop bribery, which undermines people's access to critical social services. She stated that service providers must deliver services to members of the public in record time and with the expected quality. Olabisi implored citizens to make reports on incidences of bribery and petty corruption as and when they experience it, emphasizing bribery makes poor people poorer.
CSO Coordinator, PNB-Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) Ibrahim H. Sesay, informed his listeners of the reporting channels; the 515 free line on all networks, the mobile APP in Krio, Temne and Mende; and the website: www.pnb.gov.sl. He outlined the role of CGG in the PNB, which are; to facilitate and animate citizens reporting, sensitize communities on the PNB and convey feedbacks on reports, and educate citizens in remote communities on the use of the mobile APP. He spoke on some of the success stories of the PNB, such as parents resisting the payment of bribes in schools, and nursing relating very well with beneficiaries of the Free Health Care program.
Earlier, community elder Alfred Y. Sesay welcomed the PNB team and assured them of their safety. He said the meeting was timely as the community has burning issues which they will bring to the attention of ACC. Sesay on behalf of his people pledged unwavering support to the PNB campaign and said the 515 free line will be utilized properly.
Questions and answers session, and the distribution of PNB information, education and communication materials formed the high point of the meeting.