Liberia: Rep. Koffa Writes CBL to Audit MC2 Bank over Corruption Practices in Grand Kru County
MONROVIA – Amid widespread practices of alleged corruption and racketeering (extortion) at the Grand Kru Rural Community Finance Institution (MC2 Bank), District #2 Representative, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa has formally written the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) on Tuesday to conduct a comprehensive audit.
Cllr. Koffa said MC2 Bank was established in the county and chartered by the CBL in 2014 to purposely decentralize payments of civil servants of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Education, but it appears that the bank operations have raised serious concerns and had caused trepidations among citizens and therefore perceived to be corrupt and engaged in racketeering.
Racketeering is a criminal activity in which a person or organization engages in a “racket.” A racket is when the criminal creates a problem for others for the purpose of solving that problem by some type of extortion.
The House’s Judiciary Chairman communication was prompted following numerous complaints from citizens and residents of the county and inquiries on the operations of the bank, which was discovered that civil servants are due over 15 months because of the the bank’s delinquent and swindling operations.
Rep. Koffa’s communication dated May 5, 2020 to Mr. J. Aloysius Tarlue, Executive Governor of the Central, said: “I present my compliments to you and have the honor to request a full and comprehensive audit of the grand Kru Rural Community Financial Institution (GKRCFI), which was chartered by the Central Bank of Liberia on March 28, 2014. The purpose of the establishment of the Bank was further assist in the government’s decentralization program especially in the area of financial service primarily with Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Education payrolls in the County”, the communication read.
The communication added: “While this still remains a noble and lofty goal, the operations of the GKRFI over the years have raised serious concerns and trepidation among citizens in the county and customers of the bank. Regrettably, it appears that the bank is perceived and operates as a racketeering, corrupt and influenced organization.”
Rep. Koffa further: “I am therefore requesting that the Central Bank, as the regulator, audit or cause to be audited the GKCRFI. Many of the permanent citizens serve on the board of the bank and many others are shareholders. It will be proper that a full audit is done so that the bank is brought in the ambit of transparency and accountability and the full faith of the citizens and customers restored.”
“Only an independent audit can reveal the truth of the operations of the bank to restore public confidence in establishing the way forward with its operations,” the communication said.
It was gathered that the communication was received on Tuesday.
Also, in a separate communication on Tuesday, Rep. Koffa wrote General Manager Augustine Fannoh of the Mc2 Bank to provide to his office annual reports of six years covering the period the bank has existed.
The District #2 Representative said as shareholder and Representative of the District where the Bank operates, his office needs update.
“As shareholder of the Grand Kru Rural Community Financial Institution (GKRCFI) and representative District #2 where the institution is physically located, I am requesting that you provide my office copies of the annual reports for the last six years from the inception of the bank”.
He pointed out: “These reports are necessary in light of numerous complaints I have received from my constituents on the operations of the institution.”
Meanwhile, the office of District #2 Grand Kru County Representative, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa has issued press release calling for calm in the county, stating that its attention has been drawn to the perennial salary delay of civil servants both from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Education in Grand Kru County.
The release said in line with the many concerns being raised by people via text messages and phone calls, and consistent with his promise in this year’s annual Report, the Lawmaker in relation with his oversight responsibility has written the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to conduct a forensic AUDIT of the Mc2 Bank in the county so as to establish the complexity associated with the payment of civil servants salary in Grand Kru.
The release furthered that the Bank Manager Mr. Augustine Fannoh was also written to provide a comprehensive Report of the Bank activities during the period under review prior to and after his ascendency as Bank Manager.
“Hon. Cllr. Koffa is appealing to our citizens to remain calm and civil as we all await the report from the Central Bank Of Liberia and the office of the Bank Manager of the Mc2 Bank in Grand Kru, the release said.
The release concluded that the essence of that Bank is to uphold government’s policy of Decentralization in addressing the numerous challenges that civil servants go through in having access to their earned wages and labor.
However, Mc2 General Manager welcomed the Rep. Koffa’s call for audit of his institution and transmission of annual reports to shareholders.
He added that reputable auditing firms through AFriland Bank audit the bank annually.
The banker denied corruption and racketeering claims and indicated that his institution does not owe any civil servants in the county contrary to allegation made against him by citizens.
The Superintendent of the Grand Kru County, Madam Doris Yltun said the delay in getting the Central Bank to transmit money to MC2 is responsible for salary delay in the county.
Reports say Rep.Koffa is an individual shareholder and his intervention was necessary because the county needed “seed money” to establish the bank.
MC2 Bank was established to tackle decentralization of payments of civil servants and provide access to banking of residents in the county.