9 May 2019

Liberia: Weah's Govt Confirms Using Donors' Funds for Purposes Other Than Ones Intended for

Photo: Liberian Observer
Specimen of the new LD 500 banknote.

Monrovia — The Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe, has admitted to media reports on the Liberia Government unilaterally taking and using development partners' funds, held at the Central Bank of Liberia, for purposes other than ones agreed on by both the donors and the Liberian Government.

The Liberian Government's official spokesperson, who was visibly sweating in an air-conditioned room as he defended the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government, however, stated that the funds would be replaced.

"When your cash position improves because of improvement in revenue generation, you recapitalize the accounts," he added stating how the donors have, however, expressed their dissatisfaction with the process, describing it as "not best practice".

Notwithstanding, the Information Minister further admitted that government has been engaging with the donor partners "in setting up the proper perimeter to deal with the situation comprehensively."

Despite him saying this about engagement with the donor community, the development partners' joint letter says it otherwise that their accounts are continually being depleted unlawfully.

"We regret to bring to your attention our receipt of a copy of the attached letter, which was sent by members of your government to the Central Bank of Liberia designating funding to be removed temporarily from a variety of accounts associated with donor programs. While some partners have been aware of particular accounts from which funding had been removed for purposes other than those that were intended and agreed, and have been addressing the issue, the letter indicates a greater scale of irregular withdrawals than was previously and collectively known," an excerpt of donors' letter says.

According to Min. Nagbe, it doesn't mean that someone has stolen money. He further stated that donor community didn't raise the issues to mean that the government is corrupt; to him that they were "administrative and technical issues" that had been raised. More details to follow...

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