13th July, 2021.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has, on Monday 12th and Tuesday, 13th July, 2021 sensitized and empowered beneficiaries of the Social Safety Net (SSN) COVID 19 program in Baja Town, Moyamba District and Gardorhun Village, in Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District respectively, on the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component of the SSN program which is superintended by the Commission.
Addressing beneficiaries of the scheme and community stakeholders at the meetings held at the community centres in Baja and Gardorhun, Director of Public Education and Outreach, ACC Patrick Sandi admonished them to make the appropriate use of the funds as they are meant to alleviate their state of vulnerability and poverty. Mr. Sandi dilated on the many gains the ACC has recorded in its support to the SSN program through the GRM. He told listeners that the Commission appreciates their contribution to the fight and encouraged them to sustain the collaboration. Director Sandi outlined the many interventions the Commission has made in ensuring that beneficiaries are fairly and transparently treated. The ACC has recovered over Thirty (30) Billion Leones from the corrupt, secured over 95% conviction rate and made unprecedented upward mobility in local and international corruption perception indexes in three years, Mr. Sandi updated his audience.
In her submission, Christiana Jusu, Public Education Officer ACC, underscored that the expectations of the ACC were clear and not difficult to attain. She implored the beneficiaries to use the monies in a proper and judicious way, mindful that such outcomes will please the donors, the ACC and the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA). Madam Jusu further informed her listeners that the meetings will clarify all the misunderstandings they had in regard the implementation of the program.
Speaking on the role of the Commission in the SSN program, Sinatu Bangura, National Youth Service Corps, performing the role of Public Education Officer, stated that, the ACC’s involvement in the program has added tremendous value to the project with huge display of integrity and transparency, and increased donors and beneficiaries’ confidence. She also said that, the ACC has the role to increase public awareness on the SSN/GRM program, the benefits and impact on beneficiaries and mechanisms available to resolving issues or challenges in the program. Madam Bangura catalogued the many outreach activities the Commission has undertaken, the cases investigated and charged to court and the administrative matters resolved relating to the implementation of the SSN program.
In their presentations at the two engagements, on the overview of the SSN/GRM program, District Monitors of Moyamba and Pujehun Districts, Jonathan Bassie and Thomas Sahr Tamba respectively, said the SSN program otherwise known as ‘hep fet po’ is aimed at ameliorating the current sufferings of the people occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic. They said, the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank are providing the funds, NaCSA is implementing, Rokel Commercial Bank is giving the cash, and the ACC ensuring that the entire process is free of acts of corruption and bribery.
Earlier, in the meetings, the Town Chiefs of Baja and Gardorhun, Joseph Bunduka and Brima K. Fabah respectively, expressed their appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank for the direct cash support to their people, noting that there are still communities in their chiefdoms that are yet to benefit from the support. They assured the Commission of their unwavering support to the fight and pledged to work closely with the beneficiaries for a better and more responsible utilization of the monies received.
The SSN which is a $35 Million Government of Sierra Leone social relief program, sponsored by the World Bank, provides direct cash support to the poorest and most vulnerable people in communities across the country. It is jointly implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Statistics Sierra Leone, and Rokel Commercial Bank, and targets thirty five thousand (35,000) households nationwide, where beneficiaries will each receive the sum of One Million, Three Hundred and Nine Thousand Leones (Le 1,309,000.00) for each quarter.
Similar SSN/GRM outreach events will be replicated in Mattru Jong, Bonthe District on Wednesday 14th July, 2021, and in Gondama Town, Tikonko Chiefdom, Bo District, on Thursday, 15th July, 2021.
©Public Education and Outreach, ACC