-But Wants Govt To Investigate, Prosecute Corrupt Officials
The Center for Transparency Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), an auxiliary of Transparency International (TI), an internationally acclaimed anti-graft and accountability institution, has welcomed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) latest report relative to the missing of billions of Liberian dollars.
It can be recalled the United States Embassy in Monrovia Thursday; 28 February 2019 released its findings following nearly five months of investigation into the missing money which has left the Liberian nation hugely divided.
Amongst other things, the report uncovered vast discrepancy in procedures and documentations leading to the excess printing of nearly L$13billion Liberian dollars by the Central Bank of Liberia. The report, which was published on the US Embassy website in Monrovia, discovered there’s no clear delineation between the Liberian Legislature and the CBL during the ordering of the printing of the money.
It also unearthed that nearly L$2billion is unaccounted for. The report also underscored that there’re no documents whatsoever to the effect that the Minister of Finance did infuse US$25million into the economy as a mop-up scheme to ease rising inflation on the market.
The release of the USAID report also coincided with the Government of Liberia unveiling its own findings into the reported missing billions. While critics of the government blame it of not accounting for billions of missing Liberian banknotes, the Government of Liberia meanwhile contends that no L$16billions got missing as reported by both local and international media.
Also, there have been mixed reactions since the reports were made public. As pro-government supporters hail President George Weah for his stand on the matter, his critics, including integrity institutions in the country, have cautiously welcomed the report, but however urged the Weah government to do more by investing and, if need be, bring perpetrators to justice.
At an elaborate press conference in Monrovia recently, CENTAL said while it hails the GOL for the latest approach taken into the missing billions saga, it is however calling on the government to treat the matter with immediacy. On Thursday evening, police in Monrovia arrested three CBL officials in connection to the missing money, including Mr. Charles Sirleaf, son of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“We think this is a laudable step on the part of the government but, we are also calling on the government to move one step forward by treating this matter with immediacy,” CENTAL’s Executive Director Anderson Miamen told journalists at a well-attended press conference in Monrovia 24 hours following the release of the missing billions’ report.
“Additionally, we are calling on the government to ensure that all past and present government officials linked to this missing billion be immediately investigated and if found culpable, they should be prosecuted in accordance with the law.”