Pro-Democracy Group Reveals Gov’t Ignoring Anti-Graft Promises
Paynesville – The National Youth Movement for Transparent Election (NAYMOTE), a partner for democratic development in Liberia, has revealed that the Liberian Government has not taken any concrete steps to promote accountability and fight against corruption.
Report By Gerald C. Koinyeneh- 0880881540/0777769531/[email protected]
NAYMOTE also reported that data show that the government is not doing anything to fulfill its promises towards supporting the physically challenged and senior citizens.
In its Liberia’s President Meter Project report, NAYMOTE indicated that the government made four promises in promoting accountability and anti-corruption.
The government, according to NAYMOTE, promised to review structures, mandates and operations of the four major existing agencies, which they didn’t mention in the report, with responsibilities for ensuring accountability and transparency.
It also pledged to review and build upon the current Code of Conduct for public officials together with the asset declaration platform; and review the mandates, structures, administrative procedures and staffing levels and requirements of current ministries and agencies and undertake necessary restructuring exercises.
In addition, the government planned to “pursue without fear or favor, legal actions against companies involved in bid rigging, price fixing and corrupt practices.”
However, with one year into its six-year mandate, the report showed that the government has not taken any concrete actions in implementing its anti-graft promises and there is no tangible information available on the fulfilment of these promises.
The government, among other things also pledged to “enact legislation to establish a functioning health subsidy program for our citizens below the poverty line, and to prioritize adolescent female health, work in partnership with the private sector to ensure appropriate infrastructure in public places that will accommodate the special needs of our physically challenged brothers and sisters in transacting their daily enterprises; and initiate and pursue the establishment of at least two functioning mental health centers where patients’ rehabilitation treatment can be undertaken, and their improvement progress monitored.”
Five Promises Fulfilled, Thirty-three Ongoing
According to the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo, the institution during the one-year project period tracked, documented and rated 87 promises including 65 from the ruling party’s manifesto in 2017 and 22 from campaign speeches, policy statements and presidential priority projects.
Since the ascendency of the President and his government to power, NAYMOTE stated that actions have been taken towards the implementation of 38 promises including five completed and 33 ongoing during the first year in office.
These projects focused on education, health, infrastructure, agriculture and youth development.
The additional 49 promises were rated as “Not Started” or “Not Rated” due to the lack of available information to assess progress towards implementation.
The five completed promises include payment of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees for all students, who sat the WAEC exams in 2017 across the country, renovation of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, the passage of the Land Rights Act, reduction of salaries for public officials under the Executive Branch of Government, and pavement of the Doe Community to Clara Town road.
Meanwhile, the organization has recommended that the government develop a results-based communication strategy to facilitate a two-way flow of information between the government and citizens, establish an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate government’s efforts in fulfilling promises, develop a monitoring and evaluation system for monitoring government’s promises and link them to the pillars of the Pro-Poor Agenda and its implementation.
Naymote’s Executive Director Jarwolo noted that the President Meter Project is the best platform to promote democratic accountability and makes elected officials more accessible, accountable and responsive to their constituents and the process in building citizens trust in elections and democratic processes.
He expressed hope that the report will be taken in good faith and more actions will be taken by the government to deliver on ongoing promises within the second year in office.
Jarwolo called on citizens to hold their elected officials accountable to deliver on the campaign promises made during the election and thanked the Open Society Initiative for West Africa for the support and called on other partners including the UN, EU, ECOWAS and USAID to support such project.
“When citizens have access to information on the status of government’s promises, they become civically engaged; they are more informed about government’s actions, they hold their government to account and citizen’s trust in politics and government increased,” he stated.