• January 17, 2024

THE CONCH: Fighting Corruption… ACC Need to Buckle Up

THE CONCH: Fighting Corruption… ACC Need to Buckle Up
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By Alusine Fullah

Corruption has fierce impacts on economic and societal development and is subject to a vast range of institutional, jurisdictional, societal, and economic conditions. Corruption is a term we often hear in our societies yet its impact on our daily lives can be profound. Corruption takes many forms, from petty bribery to large-scale embezzlement, and affects people everywhere. But what exactly is corruption, and how does it affect society? In this blog post, we’ll explore the insidious effects of corruption on individuals, communities, and even entire nations. So buckle up, sit tight and dive into this important.

According to Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2022 it succinctly gives eight definition of corruption. The act defines:  “corruption” means an act which constitutes an offence under Part IV of this Act and includes- (a) any conduct whereby in return for an advantage, a person performs or abstains from performing` any act in his capacity as a public officer; (b) the offer, promise, soliciting or receipt of an advantage as an inducement or reward to a person to expedite, delay, hinder or prevent the performance of an act by himself or by any other public officer in his capacity as a public officer; (c) the abuse of a public office for personal or private gain; (d) the corrupt acquisition of wealth; (e) the possession and control of unexplained wealth; (f) the misappropriation of public funds or property; g) the misappropriation of donor funds or property; and (h) any offence involving dishonesty in connection with any tax, rate, charge or levy imposed under any enactment.

Religiously corruption is a sin. For instance, the Bible says: “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twist the words of the innocent.” However, the history of corruption is in fact related to the beginning of the creation of the law and the state and was already in the antiquity considered an evil, which negatively affects the public administration and the functioning of the political system.Honestly, corruption has the power to reduce the effectiveness of various financial assistance programs (both national and international), as money is lost somewhere along the way” and does not reach those that need it or for whom it is intended, as the financial benefits, deriving from corruption, are not taxable because they are hidden. The state is thus also losing part of the income from the taxes due to corruption, while the public spending, resulting from corruption.

Not only does corruption affect economic development in terms of economic efficiency, it also has a distributional impact. While there is strong evidence of a negative correlation between corruption and the level of GDP per capita, some authors argue that such studies should also take into consideration indicators of social welfare and distribution of wealth. As early of 1998, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper, based on cross-country regression analysis for 1980-97, establishes the considerable impact of corruption on income inequality, with a one standard deviation point increase in corruption resulting in an income reduction for the poor of 7.8 percentage points a year (Gupta et al. 2002). The paper argues that corruption increases income inequality through lower economic growth, biased tax systems favouring the wealthy and well connected, lower levels and effectiveness of social spending, and unequal access to education and public services.

For the past weeks, there have array of corruption of scandals across the country. For instance, according to a press lease that was released on the 10th January stated that in December, 2023 a total of Le6.5 billion (old Leones) was processed at the Accountant General Department (AGD) for the payment to Edward Davies and Association Ltd.

According to the release in December, 2023 a total of Le6.5 billion (old Leones) was processed at the Accountant General Department (AGD) for the payment to Edward Davies and Association Ltd.

Nevertheless, after several investigations, the Ministry of Finance identified the following names as suspects for the alleged diversion of funds. The names follow:

  1. Jacob Tenga Sessie, Deputy Director of Budget, MOF
  2. Emmanuel Smart-Accountant Officer, SLRA
  3. Starlyn Kemoh- Accountant Officer, SLRA
  4. Ibrahim Bangura, Senior Accountant, AGD
  5. John Ellie, Principal Accountant, AGD
  6. Joseph Johnson, Accountant, AGD
  7. Philip Yomba, Senior Accountant, AGD

Apart from the above corruption scandal, the Clark of Parliament, Paran Tarawalley together with his wife has been allegedly involved in corruption. The alleged corruption should serve as a wakeup call to all Sierra Leoneans especially the ACC boss. More and more strives are need in the fight against corruption.

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