Liberia: “Disgraceful, Embarrassing And Shameful” – Sen. Lawrence Describes ‘Lack of Transparency in Food Distribution’ Program
MONROVIA – Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence (Grand Bassa County, LP) says it is disgraceful, embarrassing and shameful for the World Food Program (WFP) to debunk the government’s assertion that the international body is charging the government US$9 million as administrative cost to carryout food distribution across the country.
According to Senator Karnga-Lawerence, she and her colleagues were ridiculed when they asked the hard questions pertaining the US$25 million allotted by government for the food distribution exercise.
Sen. Lawrence: “When we requested the National Response Plan for the fight against COVID-19 from the Executive, we were greeted with insults including from the Ministry of Information. We requested details and a chance to question the MFDP authorities concerning the recast budget and associated sources of funding and contracts including of the WFP. Again, we received condemnation and insults, and were maligned as bent on working against the interests of our people. The recast budget was rushed into uncharacteristic passage without required scrutiny and without our votes.”
“It’s disgraceful, embarrassing and shameful for the Government to say that the WFP is charging 9million for operations and WFP debunks the claim essentially as a lie in stating their charge is only 1.8 million.”– Senator Nyonbee Karnga-Lawerence (Grand Bassa County, Liberty Party)
The Grand Bassa county Senator and political leader of the opposition Liberty Party said the emerging reports of the US$25 million being a loan and controversy of the US$9 million being paid to the WFP as administrative cost could been averted had they been given the opportunity to perform due process before the passage of the recast budget.
While the Minister of Commerce and head of the food distribution committee, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh had informed the Senate the US$9 million of the US$25 million would be paid to the WFP to enable them carryout the distribution, the WPF Communications Director in Rome, Italy, informed FrontPageAfrica that the only US$1.8 million would be used as cost to carry out the exercise. This has raised questions regarding the Min. Tarpeh’s disclosure in the Senate.
“It’s disgraceful, embarrassing and shameful for the Government to say that the WFP is charging 9million for operations and WFP debunks the claim essentially as a lie in stating their charge is only 1.8 million,” Sen. Lawrence stated.
She added: “It would be a serious travesty if the Minister misled the Legislature. And it is sad that all of these could have been cleared up and handled openly, transparently, more accountably and responsibly by the President and the leadership of the Legislature. Blind loyalty, incompetence and partisanship are hurting the country and suffering our people”
The Grand Bassa County Senator is still expecting to see a copy of the contract between the Liberian government and the WFP and the food distribution plan before the commencement of the food distribution.