Liberia: AFROPAC Promises to Strengthen Public Finance Oversight During Pandemic Recovery


Monrovia — The African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC) is having a two-day virtual Conference as part of efforts to improve Lawmakers’ oversight responsibility during the time of the pandemic.

AFROPAC was established in September 2013 at the Arusha International Conference Center in Arusha, Tanzania.

The ceremony was attended by over 400 delegates from across the African continent.

Giving the opening statement on Tuesday at the Mamba Point Hotel, the Chairperson of AROPAC Senator J. Emmanuel Nuquay praised AFROPAC for being the key voice in many countries through it initiative.

The theme of the virtue conference is “collect comprehensive, borrow wisely spending efficiently: public finance oversight in time of pandemic recovery.

As the current Chairman of AFROPAC, Senator Nuquay disclosed that the group, in partnership with GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa has conducted training as a means of improving the capacity of legislative oversight in three of African regions, the South, East and West Africa.

“As current Chairperson, we are aware of the challenges posed by Illicit Financial Flow (IFF) and the serious threat to Africa’s socio-economic transformation and the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Senator Nuquay said.

The Margibi County Senator added that accountability is critical in the attainment of African Union Agenda 2063 which provides impetus and direction for Africa’s development.

“We are cognizant of the strategic value of Supreme Audit Institutions in enabling oversight and public accountability in our country,” he said.

Also speaking, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia Edwin W. Harris says he was glad to share his perspective of illicit financial flows and their impact of post-COVID-19 in the context of Liberia’s case.

According to the Director-General of FIU, the form drug, human trafficking, and corruption are some of the forms of the movement of illicit financial flow he says can be seen in the National Risk Assessment Report on money laundering and terrorist financing conducted in 2020 by all stakeholders in the fight against illicit financial flows in Liberia.

“In the NRA, corruption, tax evasion, human trafficking, trafficking in illicit drugs and substances were all identified as prevalent predicate offenses to money laundering in Liberia,” Harris said.

According to him, illicit financial flow is impacting national revenue in many forms.

“Illegal mining of precious minerals by illegal aliens and nationals without paying their fair share to revenue, mis invoicing to include abused of duty-free privileges,” he said.

The Liberian government has for the first time has a budget to the tune of US$ 789.597 million, however, Harris said the budget risk is undermined if nothing is done to curtail illicit funds.

The FIU Director-General added: “This giant step risks being undermined by illicit financial flows.”

“I will admonish AFROPAC to use their Legislative tool of oversight as one of the solutions in curbing illicit financial flows that undermine economic growth and the delivery of quality social services to the people across the continent,” Harris said.