It a bid to address key corruption issues at tertiary institutions, the North-West Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Friday 15th November 2019 engaged staff and students of the Abbako Technical College in Port Loko City.

The engagement which was in the form of a sensitization meeting dubbed ‘Meet the University /College campaign’ was aimed at educating staff and students of the institution on corruption and corrupt practices in the education sector and soliciting their support.

Delivering his keynote address, the Regional Manager Mr Al-Hassan Sesay lamented over the drop in the standard of education in Sierra Leone which he attributed to the sustained presence of corruption that has made the country to lose its once acclaimed status of ‘Athens of West Africa’. As a way of combating corruption, Manager Sesay explained the three prong approaches of public education, prevention and confrontation used by the Commission in the fight against corruption. He highlighted various corruption offences prevalent in the education sector including soliciting and accepting advantage, misappropriation of public fund and property, abuse of office among others. “Corruption is a big bottleneck to the development of Sierra Leone and it has adversely affected service delivery,” he emphasized. The Regional Manager also issued a stern warning to students and the administration of the College to desist from involving in corrupt practices and work toward achieving the avowed vision of a corrupt free Sierra Leone.

Welcoming the team from ACC, the Vice Principal of the College, Mr Abdul Karim Turay expressed delight and lauded the initiative to engage and educate them on key corruption issues. He assured the Commission of his institution’s support towards improving service delivery and adopting nti-corruption measures.

Senior Public Education Officer Mr. Sahid Mohamed Kamara said the essence of the meeting was to educate the students and staff on what constitute corruption in their operations and solicit their support in the fight against corruption. He entreated the staff and students to be committed and determined in reversing the negative trend of corruption in the education sector. He noted that the ACC alone cannot fight corruption in the country and therefore called on them to genuinely support the Commission.

Public Education Officer Mr. Mohamed Thullah who spoke on the role of the administration in the fight against corruption and how to make report said the college was expected to support the Commission by internalizing anti corruption measures that will promote operational efficiency, compliance and to also increase transparency and accountability in the discharge of their functions. He encouraged the administration to inculcate ethical standards and the values of integrity in resisting and rejecting demands of corrupt practices. On how to make report to the Commission Mr. Thullah highlighted several methods of reporting to the Commission including the toll free lines and also emphasized the importance of protecting the identity of informants or witness of the ACC. He assured them of the Commission’s commitment to protecting the confidentiality of informants at all times.

Questions, comments and concerns from the students and staff formed part of the discussions. The symbolic handing over of Information, Education and Communication materials climaxed the meeting.

 (C) ACC North-West Region


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