In response to public concerns on illegal practices relating to electricity supply in Port Loko township, the North West Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 urged staff and management of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) in Port Loko to provide and maximize quality service delivery to the public.
It could be recalled that on the 6th of March 2020, the ACC and the Ministry of Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim to strengthening the relationship and collaboration between the two institutions in order to address issues of corruption in electricity supply and electricity theft.
Addressing staff and volunteers of EDSA and membership of the North-West Electricians and Electronics Association, the regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the leadership of EDSA in the district has been engaged severally on reports and concerns emanating from the public on the activities and operations of EDSA. He described the provision of electricity as a valuable necessity and underscored its importance in sustaining livelihoods and propelling the economy of the state. He said because EDSA’s staff most times work with private electricians, issues of corruption or any malfeasance in the sector are directly related to EDSA. He pointed out various corrupt practices including but not limited to illegal connection, electricity abstraction and conspiracy with customers to deprive government of the much needed revenue.
Manager Sesay encouraged management and staff to enhance best practice and warned them in strong terms to desist from involving in any form of corrupt practice. Commenting on public concerns on the activities of EDSA, the Regional Head said as a way of operationalizing the content of the MoU signed with the ministry, the ACC North-West Office and EDSA in Port Loko will be doing joint monitoring and raids on any suspicion or intelligence relating to electricity abstraction and other related matters. He explained key corruption offences including the protection of public funds, misappropriation of public funds and property, offering, soliciting and accepting advantage as well as any other act that may constitute an offence or impedes EDSA’s operation to providing quality services to the public.
The Head of Station EDSA, Ing. Alhassan Bangura in his statement explained key technicalities in electricity transmission and distribution and appreciated ACC’s move to educate and sensitize staff and also as a way of supporting government’s programmes. He expressed dismay over the vandalization of substations and destruction of transformers and breakers as most times nothing comes out of the investigations done by the Police. Eng. Bangura expressed delight and welcomed ACC’s collaboration with EDSA to put a stop to the very many challenges hindering the provision of quality services to the community. Head of Customer Service Mr. Kemoh Kamara in his welcome address described the meeting as timely and a preventive mechanism to address issues of corruption and made a concise of the tariff system. Both of them expressed similar sentiment to intensifying the required collaboration and support with the ACC in order to bring sanity and maximize efficient service delivery to the people. Earlier in his brief statement, Head of North-West Electrician Association Alpha Bedor Bangura thanked the ACC for recognizing their role and to sensitize them on key corruption issues as well as guiding them on their roles and responsibilities.
Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah encouraged management and staff to enhance best practices in their processes and operations and to maintain high ethical standards in the line of duty. PEO Thullah stated that the MoU also point out the need for support and collaboration from the sector in terms of expertise in conducting sting operations that will dig out corrupt practices by individuals and companies. As the ACC is now closer to you, he said, you must be very mindful of the ACC laws and resist and reject corruption demands. “You must always ensure that your activities and operations are within the confines of the law,” he emphasized.