By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC’s) new ultra-modern Headquarters building, named Integrity House, has been officially opened by President Julius Maada Bio on the 5th June, 2023 at Tower Hill in Freetown.
In his remarks, President Bio started by reminding the gathering that corruption is an existential threat to the image, integrity, and wholesomeness of the State, adding that it had the potential to undermine business, public service delivery, public trust and cohesion, which were critical for national development.
“We must therefore prevent and curb the flagrant abuse of public office for personal gain and fight corruption in the private sector. That is why I have not wavered in my support for and commitment to the resolute national fight against corruption.
“Let me, therefore, congratulate and thank the Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala, the Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Ngobie, the Board, and the dedicated team that have demonstrated assiduous dedication to achieving the objectives I set in my New Direction manifesto.
“International ratings and corruption perception indexes over the last five years of my leadership have been very favourable. Using objective international datasets, the Millennium Corporation Challenge rates Sierra Leone as passing the hard ‘control of corruption’ indicator year on year with consistently high marks.
“On the Transparency International Global Corruption Perception Index, Sierra Leone has moved 19 places upward since 2018 and scored 34 points — above the Sub-Saharan average of 33.
“I am informed that the most recent Afro-Barometer Survey Report 2022, Round 9, indicates a significant improvement, with data showing elevated levels of trust in the robust posture of Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission and the function of Integrity Management Committees located within Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
“But we can do more, and we continue to do more. As a Government, we have been very mindful of waste and accountability. This sets us apart from our predecessors who could have been better and done better,” he concluded.
It is evident that the favourable and unprecedented local and international indexes and rankings the country has made in the last five years are clear demonstrations of the Government’s commitment to the national anti-corruption campaign. “Despite the financial difficulties in the World, my Government continued its support to the construction of the ACC building,” the President underscored.
The Commissioner of ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. disclosed how the construction of Integrity House was entirely funded by the Government of Sierra Leone, and therefore thanked the President and Government of Sierra Leone for the enormous financial and moral support to the Commission in the last five years.
“Your Excellency, we would not have made all these achievements without the strong and exceptional Presidential and Political Will and Support we have had from you and your Government,” the ACC Commissioner noted.
Chairman of the ceremony, the Commissioner of the National Action for Social Action (NaCSA), Dr. Sao-Kpato Hannah Isata Max-Kyne, lauded the ACC for its efforts in the fight against corruption and the Government for the continued unwavering support in addressing the problems of corruption in the public sector.
Deputy Commissioner, ACC, Augustine Foday-Ngobie in his welcome statement congratulated the people of Sierra Leone for the hard work displayed in the fight against corruption, which has resulted in the construction of the building. He further thanked the President and his Government for their support to the fight against corruption at all times.
The new ultra-modern building is situated on Tower Hill, Freetown, in front of the House of Parliament and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.