Augustine Foday Ngobie, the Deputy Commissioner of Sierra Leone’s Anti Corruption Commission (ACC-SL), called upon all key stakeholders involved in the rollout of the $40 million Productive Social Safety Net and Youth Employment (PSSNYE) initiative, funded by the World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone, to demonstrate unwavering dedication to the project’s success.
He made this call in a compelling address on August 21, 2023, during a week-long retreat held at the Youth in Action for Development (YAD) Conference Hall in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone.
The retreat brought together technical experts from various entities, including the ACC, NaCSA, Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Youth Commission, and the Freetown City Council. The primary objective was to deliberate and review the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) Manual, a crucial component preceding the launch of the PSSNYE.
Ngobie emphasized that the implementation of the PSSNYE is not just a choice, citing the success of previous endeavors such as the Social Safety Net (SSN) and Emergency Cash Transfer projects. These initiatives extended unconditional cash transfers to vulnerable households and businesses severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also highlighted the alignment of the PSSNYE project’s thematic framework with the government’s Manifesto commitments, aiming to uplift the lives of vulnerable households and address youth unemployment through cash transfers and skills acquisition programs.
Ngobie’s speech underscored the necessity for all stakeholders to approach the project without bias or ulterior motives, emphasizing accountability and an absence of corruption.
He vowed to ensure a flawless implementation and to hold any wrongdoers accountable. He emphasized that the PSSNYE project tackles critical societal challenges, including livelihood improvement for the disadvantaged and addressing youth unemployment and employability issues.
Ngobie stated that the rise in drug abuse and a shortage of necessary skills among the youth compound these issues, making it imperative to address them for the nation’s betterment.
The retreat, scheduled from August 21 to August 25, 2023, will comprehensively assess the previous GRM Manual, incorporating new participants such as the Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Youth Commission, and Freetown City Council. This updated manual will serve as a blueprint to handle and prevent potential grievances arising from the PSSNYE rollout.