11 December 2012

Liberia: Corruption Remains a Major Problem in Liberia - Says CENTAL Boss

The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has said that corruption remains a major problem to the development of post conflict Liberia. According to the CENTAL Executive Director, Mr. Thomas Doe-Nah, corruption remains visible both in the public and private sector, despite the recent report released by Transparency International.

In its report, the International human rights organization placed Liberia at the 75th position out of 176 corrupt countries globally, and 11th in Africa. The group also ranked Liberia as the third worst country in West Africa as it relates to corruption. While acknowledging that the government has made progress in the fight against corruption, he added that now is the time for laws against corruption to be adequately and properly implemented.

Mr. Nah observed that citizens would be deprived economically when corruption cases are compromised. The CENTAL boss pointed out that corruption accrues by a selected few would help to undermine the peace, stability and security of the country noting that, Liberia is still a fragile state.

He made these comments recently at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing held at the Charles Gbenyon Press Hall in Monrovia. According to him, the fight against corruption remains a major challenge in government, and as such, collective efforts must be mustered in order to eradicate the menace that is eating every fabric of the Liberian society.

He said for too long "lip service" has been played towards the fight against corruption. He noted that the implementation of laws relating to the fight against the pandemic remains very difficult. Mr. Nah made specific reference to the refusal of government officials to provide information to the public through the Freedom of Information Law.

"As Liberians, we need to celebrate improvement of our country in the latest Transparency International Report. But let us be reminded that corruption remains a major problem that we need to address. Our picture is not rosy enough and we need to do more so our grade can improve. We have to be more committed to the fight against corruption. We cannot continue to play lip service," he stated.

He continued: "In the fight against corruption, the implementation of laws is very much important. I like to caution Liberians, especially public officials that Liberia is still a fragile state and corrupt practices accrued for few segment of our people may undermine all that we enjoy today. Corruption hurts the system. It also leads to economic deprivation. The process of fighting corruption is collective and do not allow yourself to be compromised. When this is done, you compromise corruption."

The head of CENTAL then urged Liberian journalists to be more vigilant in exposing corruption. He challenged the Liberian media practitioners to report on corruption without fear or favor.

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