The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) last Friday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) at the Commission’s Headquarters Gloucester Street in Freetown.
The MoU is part of the ACC’s effort to support shared objectives of removing corrupt practices, administrative barriers to and increasing investment opportunities and private sector growth.
The Acting Commissioner of the ACC Morlai Buya Kamara emphasized that the MoU provides a formal basis for cooperation and technical/professional assistance between the institution to reinforce investment and export promotion and to throw in more support to national economic development.
He said by putting in place structures to protect the private sector, the issue of bankruptcy will be addressed and development will be visible adding that many MoU’s and rules of engagement have been entered into with state’s institutions for the purpose of combating corruption of which SLIEPA has now become part of these development mechanisms.
He remarked that “the MoU marks an important milestone in the cooperation between SLIEPA and ACC-SL. It is broadly a statement of intent to understand the complementarity of needs and identify possible areas of partnership. It is also timely in view of the effort made in terms of the legal and regulatory framework as expressed in the laws and government’s recognition of the private sector for job creation and national development and also in promoting private sector growth and the fight against corruption in both private and public sectors”
Mr. Kamara allayed the fears of members serving in public institutions by saying “the ACC does not always arrest people and lock them up but there is need for the Commission to call on personalities for clarifications and amendments on issues bordering on development. The Commission also institute public education to increase knowledge and awareness of the public with regards the Commission’s mandates”
The Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA Mr. Patrick Caulker in his statement supported the idea of signing MoU with the ACC since lots of emphasis has been placed on the private sector as the engine of growth and development at national level.
He said the issue of corruption in the private sector has resulted to embarrassing questions in investment meetings abroad posed to them by investment tycoons as to whether there is or are any thorough mechanisms put in place to protect investment in the country.
As a result he added that the MoU signed with the ACC can enhance safety guarantee especially in combating corruption and the removal of administrative trade barriers for foreign investment.
Mr. Caulker disclosed that SLIEPA among its numerous corporate objectives is the government agency responsible for the coordination, encouragement, promotion and generation for foreign and domestic investment and also the development of traditional and non-traditional exports diversification. This further includes the organization’s mission to provide high quality services and reliable information to investors and exporters aiming at getting broad based investment opportunities to enhance the growth of the local economy.
Mr. Moris Williams, Director of the Support Service of the ACC stressed the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding since it strengthens partnership between the ACC and SLIEPA for the betterment of both institutions.
Mrs. Neneh Daboh of the Systems and Processes Review Department of the ACC encouraged executives of SLIEPA to collaborate with the Commission in providing pertinent information that will necessitate action that will foster the development of the private sector for national benefit.