ACC and ministry of energy to tackle electricity theft and non-payment of bills

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 March 2020:

Electricity theft and non-payment of electricity bills by households and businesses, have for far too long been the main cause of poor levels of investments in the sector and the frequent electricity blackouts suffered across the country.

But the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the ministry of energy are now planning to put an end to this scourge, by closely working together. Both organisations met last Friday, and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate.

Speaking at this historic event  which took place at the ACC Head Office in Freetown, the Minister of Energy – Alhaji Kanja Sesay, said the signing of the MoU came about as a result of a series of discussions between the ACC Commissioner and himself, aimed at boosting electricity cost recovery that has proven to be a big challenge for the ministry.

Recognising the work of the ACC in fighting corruption across other public sectors, the minister said he looks forward to the ACC helping to tackle corruption in the energy sector with the same vigour and determination.

“I would like to invite you to pay attention to our own sector because there is a lot of corrupt practices ongoing” the Minister said.

The Energy sector he said is facing many challenges in the area of electricity generation, transmission and distribution; and electricity theft being widespread through illegal connections and diversions.

The ACC Commissioner – Francis Ben Kaifala, said he is delighted at the signing of the MoU, describing it as an important day for the Commission to have a ministry requesting the attention of the ACC to help fight against corruption.

He pledged to collaborate with the energy ministry; and said that electricity is very important to maintaining the livelihood of citizens and the smooth running of businesses in the country.

Revenue generated by the sector, the ACC Czar said, must be accounted for to ensure investments needed to develop the sector, and sustain the continuous supply of electricity.

Francis Ben Kaifala also said that the ACC does not have sector specific technical expertise, but will rely on the ministry of energy to provide such expertise, equipment and resources to work with the Special Sting Operation Squad of the ACC  to detect corrupt activities, practices and deliberate failure to pay for electricity consumption especially by large electricity consumers – fishing companies, welding companies, supermarkets, manufacturing factories, etc.

He also said that even though the Commission has limited number of staff, it will try its utmost best to provide a taskforce to address the challenges in the sector, adding that “where there is the will, numbers do not matter”.

The MOU signing ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Energy, the Chairmen of the Board of EGTC and EDSA, the Directors -General of the EGTC, EDSA, various senior staff and stakeholders of the energy sector, and journalists.

8 Comments

  1. Mr. Abu Paul Conteh, I could not have said it better. Many times Sahr Matturi allows his emotions to cloud his ability to think critically. If the Anti-Corruption Commission has a mandate to tackle corruption in Sierra Leone through prevention, education, awareness raising, investigation and prosecution, why would the commission not have police power? Folks like Sahr Matturi are APC surrogates who allow others to think for them. This is sad because such behavior prevents the prevalence of meaningful debate on this great forum.

    • A backbencher and novice on this particular issue indeed. Hear the vague and make no sense manner in which Mr. David Bangura is speaking. One can see defeat and poor judgement in what he is saying. I hope, he does not end up being a spekesperson for “Infodemic” on this glorious platform. He has no clue on the issue at hand as I read his comments. Instead, he is hiding behind the “Infodemic” ideas of another “Infodemic” supporter on this glorious platform.

      People like Mr. David Bangura must be ignored and let their comments for the birds. I will engage with people like Mr. David Bangura if he comes up with a “palatable” argument on the subject matter. For now, I will just sideline Mr. David Bangura untill he comes up with somme common sense ideas for debate.

      Hear Mr. David Bangura, somewhere there on the universe, critically failing to accept the realities surrounding the ACC, and at the same time trying to bribe my ideas. By the way, does Mr. David Bangura know how the Pharisees and the Teachers of the law were behaving those days? I hope he does. So, let Mr. David Bangura compare that with what the ACC is now engaged in. What a cloud cuckoo land practice. Can one imagine? God help Mr. David Bangura for not being a novice on the issues and prepare properly if he wants the privilege of discussing/debating the issues with me.

  2. Hey man! Who the hell told you that you can tell someone,anyone on this Glorious forum,how to think,and what to say? (lol). The venerable, illustrious Mr Matturi cannot be intimidated in anyway whatsoever from exercising his right to freedom of speech. So calm down Jack, no need to panic. We know he can be too hot to handle sometimes,but Mr Matturi, is an expert,the best at tearing down strongholds of hypocrisy and ignorance so let him be! (lol). We are aiming at Victory 2023,and he is an important piece to that intricate puzzle..Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Victory in 2023 indeed. That’s the only way out, to take our country out of tyranny and this excellent social and economic mess. More important, to make the ACC part of the Sierra Leone Police Force under the control and supervision of the Inspector General. Commissioner of Police for a start, will be the best starting rank for any future ACC Boss. That should have been done long time ago. Nevertheless, it’s going to happen after that crushing defeat in 2023.

      Again, “On va Les ecraser politiquement”. I hope they get the message loud and clear. There is no point for some on this glorious platform, to become hypocrite on this failed project the people of Sierra Leone voted narrowly for in 2023. They know very well, they can’t stand the forces, acceleration and momentum of the APC victory in a country where the popularity of the APC is 3 folds that of the President, the President’s party and the President’s Administration. What a polling disaster for the “Old New Direction”.

      You can see the anxiety in some of their statements and comments but, that will not deter us from hammering through to victory. So, we will continue pushing them towards the wall and put them on the defensive. There will be no alternative for them but, to surrender in 2023 after that tsunami election victory. Thank you very much Mr. Saidu Conteh for your analysis as always on this glorious platform and may God bless you.

  3. Indeed. Another “Infodemic” rhetoric again on this glorious platform. Mr. Abu Paul Conteh, saying something completely out of context which makes no sense is appalling. Asking me why, tells you how Mr. Abu Paul Conteh seems to be at the receiving end of this issue. Can you imagine Mr. Abu Paul Conteh asking me why? I hope Mr. Abu Paul Conteh is not trying to outsource my thoughts to the ACC. Instead, Mr. Abu Paul Conteh, would have made suggestions that, the income tax department outsource their tax collection unit to the ACC.

    Moreover, he would have come out with some common sense comments like, the ACC becoming tax collectors on behalf of the Bio Administration. But he didn’t. This just shows you, who the true wanderer is. In fact, I would go further, by saying that,the ACC must start helping the Freetown City Council and the District Town Councils to help collect petty trader taxes on our streets each day. That will keep them very busy instead of sitting down idling and encroaching on other people’s jobs. That’s unacceptable in my view. Furthermore, the best way to deal with someone like Mr. Abu Paul Conteh is to ignore his baseless and make no sense punches. By the way, I hope Mr. Abu Paul Conteh is not just a one off participant on this glorious platform.

    Hear Mr. Abu Paul Conteh somewhere on planet earth, talking about rambling and at the same time rambling himself with the article. God help Mr. Abu Paul Conteh detangle his ideas on the subject matter. God bless Mr. Abu Paul Conteh.

  4. ACC should not assume the role of debt collector for the Electricity Department. The Department has enough powers to cut off the electricity of defaulters. ACC has a lot of things to do.

  5. Has the ACC now become the Sierra Leone Police Force? What is now happening tells me that, the ACC has no serious job to do. Just waste of taxpayers money. They are now doing the job of the Sierra Leone Police because, they are sitting idling in their offices. After coming under fire for unnecessarily arresting weakest link APC supporters, now they are encroaching on the jobs meant to be carried out by the Sierra Police. Can you imagine?

    It will be a good idea for the ACC to be integrated into the Sierra Leone Police Force and giving their boss the AIG rank. The government must consider the establishment of the Anti Smuggling Squad/Unit too. That will be a good thing for Kono City and other mining areas. Smugglers if caught, must be prosecuted and their diamonds confiscated and placed in a fund to develop Kono City. Does the Bio Administration knows that, our diamonds are being smuggled everyday?

    Both the ACC and the Anti Smuggling Squad/Unit must be within the control of the Sierra Leone Police under the Inspector General of Police. Period. If they fail to do the right thing now, it will be done in 2023 when the “New Order” to “get SALONE sorted” will be in place. God bless our Inspector General and the Sierra Leone Police Force.

    • Sahr Maturi you ramble a lot with no sense most of the time. Why? The article is talking about corruption in the energy sector and you are here rambling nonsense that it is not the work of the ACC to delve into whatever corruption that the Minister is alluding is affecting his ministry? Please in your excitement to post, do some critical thinking before you expose your lack of knowledge.

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