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Page added on June 13, 2012
In its quest to ensuring that all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are rid of corrupt practices, the Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Monday 11th June, 2012 held customized meeting with staff of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in Makeni. (Photo: Cross section of NRA staff at the meeting.)
Speaking during the engagement at the NRA Regional Headquarters in Makeni, NRA’s Regional Manager North, Mr. Yankuba Conteh expressed great delight for the ACC’s presence at the office. He maintained that with ACC, the nation will develop as its existence will ensure that Government gets the much needed revenue. Mr. Conteh added that ACC’s educational drive will go a long way to minimize the incidences of corruption in the country. The NRA Regional boss furthered that, his institution is always ready to cooperate with the ACC, so that credibility will reign in the organization.
Explaining the purpose of the engagement, Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay stressed that the ACC was at NRA to educate its staff on the hindrances of corruption to the socio-economic development of the country and enlist their much desired support in the fight against the scourge. Mr. Sesay noted that the Commission was at its best to educate everybody on its work, and the need for a collective approach to the fight was paramount. The Public Educator lamented that the country suffers today due to corruption, so it is the business of all to combat it. ‘The Commission is not a witch-hunt institution and is apolitical, so people should have all trust in her’, he emphasized.
On the overview of the Commission, Al-Hassan Sesay told his audience that the AC Act 2008 replaced the 2000 AC Act which established the Commission. He mentioned that the 2008 Act gave enormous powers to the ACC among which are; the powers to prosecute its cases independently, increased number of offences and stiffer penalties. Mr. Sesay indicated that the Commission has the mandate to intervene in both the public and private sectors.
The Regional Manager ACC North, Patrick Sandi in his presentation told NRA staff that they were very central to the anti-corruption fight in the country, as revenue was the backbone to nation building. Mr. Sandi also noted that the activities of NRA staff must be free of corruption or else revenue generation in the country would be impaired. He however, encouraged them to resist, reject and report corrupt practices. Manager Sandi explained key corrupt offences in the AC Act 2008 which are very relevant to the institution such as; protection of public revenue and property, offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, misappropriation of public/donor funds, peddling influence, conflict of interest and possession of unexplained wealth. He told his audience that the penalty for each offence was a fine of not less than thirty million Leones (Le 30,000,000) or a prison term of not less than three (3) years or to both fine and prison term.
The ACC boss stressed on information sharing as critical to the collaboration that should exist between the two organizations, so that the revenue of the country would be protected at all times. ‘The NRA must generate enough revenue for the country, and the leakages should stop for the development of Mama Salone,’ Manager concluded.
Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of staff, Idrissa Fornah, Revenue Officer stated that staff were very pleased with the visit of the ACC team to their office as they learnt a lot from the meeting, which will help them in carrying out their various tasks. He entreated the ACC to sustain such educational approach in the fight against the menace.
Questions and answers, comments and concerns formed the high point of the meeting.
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