January 30, 2018
“A nation that is free from bribery would be able to cater for its citizens but this could only be realised when the people themselves are willing to demonstrate patriotism,” says Regional Commander of the Makeni Correctional Service, Assistant Director Abu Ishmael Sesay.
He made the statement Thursday, 25th January, during a sensitisation meeting on the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign organised by the Northern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Addressing personnel at their Mena Hill Office, Makeni, ACC Regional Manager North, Abu Bakarr Kamara, dilated on the status of the Pay No Bribe campaign. He admonished his audience that PNB is a strategic approach aimed at ensuring that systems of MDAs become effective and efficient. He informed personnel of the Correctional Centre that reports generated from the PNB portal so far indicate some progress and commitment on the part of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to join forces with other partners to combat the scourge of corruption.
Kamara emphasised that the campaign was not to make MDAs look bad but rather to provide them with empirical information on the prevalence of bribery in their institutions. He catalogued areas of concerns highlighted in the PNB reports which require concrete actions to be taken by MDAs. He disclosed that PNB is not prosecutorial focused, but there are administrative sanctions which could be used to change the behaviour of service providers.
In his statement, Public Education Officer Abdul K. Bangura gave an overview of the PNB, noting citizens could only realise it benefits when they are willing to report bribery demands, resistance and meeting honest officials. Bangura admonished his audience that one of the major factors responsible for ineffective service delivery in public institutions is bribery and petty corruption. He called on personnel of the Correctional Service in Makeni to remain steadfast in putting national interest above all else.
Highlighting the causes and effects of bribery, ACC Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh underscored the significance of the engagement and described it as a dialogue forum to discuss PNB campaign. Saccoh stated that though the Correctional Centre is not amongst the PNB targeted MDAs, the Commission deemed it relevant to interact with them to increase their knowledge on the campaign because of the invaluable services they render to the country.
Saccoh highlighted some of the reasons why people demand bribes – laziness, lack of integrity, breach of procedures, misuse of discretionary power, greed, and weak or absence of management systems.
He noted that the effects are counterproductive to the development aspiration of any country as it leads to decline in the standard of education, weak institutions, increase in crime rate, poor medical services, erosion of investor confidence, loss of revenue and poor infrastructural development.
He explained the PNB reporting mechanism through the use of free phone line 515 on all networks, on mobile application in major languages and the website: www.pnb.gov.sl.