The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), has expressed extreme concern over news of alleged illegal printing of Liberian Dollar Banknotes as well as the unprecedented disappearance of over Fifteen (15) Billion Liberian Dollars.
“ This is troubling news with serious economic, security and reputational implications for the country, especially in the wake of the recent suspension of the country’s membership with the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI),” a statement issued in Monrovia yesterday by CENTAL said.
CENTAL welcomes the ongoing investigation into the matter but cautions that such investigation must be impartial and robust, drawing on the expertise of relevant independent, professional and watchdog institutions.
CENTAL also notes with dismay the exclusion of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) from the said investigation and calls on the administration to rely on the professional competence of specialized integrity, anti-corruption, and justice sector institutions rather than those with no background in such a delicate field.
“ We further demand scrupulous review of all processes and circumstances surrounding printing, importation, clearing and transportation of the money under question and urge that findings of the investigation are timely published and fully implemented, including impartial and timely prosecution of all involved with alleged disappearance of the container of Liberian Dollar Banknotes and illegal printing of excess Banknotes,” the statement added.
CENTAL urges President Weah to take actions against any persons reasonably connected to the matter and not allow impunity to reign once more in the land.
CENTAL: “With the President’s plea for ordinary citizens to be patient-minded, in the wake of harsh economic conditions and realities, government officials, past and present, cannot continue to defraud the state and enrich themselves at the expense of the masses. This is totally unacceptable and detestable.”
According to CENTAL, in a country of under 5 million people of which over half live below the poverty line, it is sickening that citizens will repeatedly hear about scandals, high-level corruption and bad governance, while public officials make merry at the expense of their taxes and support from development partners.
CENTAL further calls on President Weah and the CDC-led Government to be more pragmatic in their professed commitment to the fight against corruption and bad governance in Liberia.
“Recent developments surrounding LEITI’s suspension from the EITI process; refusal of public officials to timely declare their assets; reluctance of the government to prosecute alleged corrupt officials of the past regime and appointment of individuals with tainted records to key positions in government do not augur well for the CDC-led government professed commitment to robustly tackle corruption in the country,” the statement pointed out.
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