Liberia: CORRUPTION ON THE RISE
Liberia Declines Further In Public Corruption Index; Records Six Points Decline Since The Inception Of The Weah-Led Government
Monrovia – Transparency International and its local partner, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), has released its findings of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2022 report, which shows Liberia being the only country that has declined by 6 points over the last five years in West Africa and the Mano River Union.
By Francis G. Boayue, Contributing Writer
The Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2022, according to CENTAL, has been in existence since 1995, scoring and ranking countries based on how corrupt their public sectors are perceived using expert assessments and opinion surveys that measure and rank countries based on the perceived levels of public sector corruption.
Presenting the report on Tuesday in Monrovia, CENTAL’s Executive Director Mr. Anderson D. Miamen, blamed President Weah for Liberia’s rapid decline in the fight against corruption by not leading by an example in fighting corruption and ending the culture of impunity for corrupt government current and former officials.
“The CPI 2022 poor result for Liberia should serve as a wake-up call to President Weah that his efforts are not good enough, as they have only taken the country backward in its anti-corruption drive,” CENTAL Boss said.
Mr. Miamen said Liberia from 29-position in 2021, has now dropped by 3 points to 26 in 2022, which has reinforced the country’s position as one of the biggest decliners on the CPI, dropping by a massive 15 points from 41 in 2012 to 26 in 2022.
Mr. Miamen disclosed that Liberia is now ranks 142nd out of 180 and remains further down the table, joining the list of countries significantly declining on the CPI.
According to him, CENTAL is extremely concerned over Liberia’s continuous poor performance, especially her place among the Worst Decliners globally.
In part, this speaks to the Liberian Government’s inability to address the entrenched culture of impunity by adequately funding public integrity institutions, fully enforcing existing anti-corruption laws and policies, and taking drastic actions against officials accused and investigated for corruption.
He further said: “Liberians have heard more words and promises from the President and other public officials than genuine efforts in the fight against Corruption in the country and this has to change if the country’s extremely disappointing performance has to be reversed.
“Massive improvement in score and performance, and not stagnation and further decline, is what the country needs, going forward,” Mr. Miamen added.
The CENTAL boss assured improvement possibilities for Liberia, adding, only when the necessary corrective measures are instituted like other countries are doing.
“However, this can be achieved if President Weah is Sincere about his desire to tackle the entrenched culture of corruption, especially in the public sector.
We recommend the following additional actions/measures:
“One, That President George Weah leads by example and pursues a sincere and holistic fight against Corruption that does not protect certain individuals and groups accused and investigated for corruption, especially his confidantes,” he said.
“Two public officials accused and investigated for corruption should be prosecuted and made to face the full weight of the law. Strong administrative actions from the President are also needed to deter corrupt behaviors in and out of government. Three, Government anti-corruption agencies must be fully funded and given adequate moral support.”
“The independence and sanctity of integrity institutions should also be maintained by the President and his government. Four, issues bordering on governance and accountability take center stage in the Weah-led administration to give citizens and development partners’ confidence in his anti-corruption efforts and hope for a better Liberia.”
“Five, that the Legislature be robust and independent in playing its role, ensuring that priority is given to anti-corruption and governance issues. Six, The Legislature should open itself up for a financial audit, as one of the single biggest receivers of taxpayers’ monies in Liberia. Finally, civil society, media, ordinary citizens, and other actors should remain active and constructively engaged in national efforts against corruption,” Mr. Miamen recommended.