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CARI Boss denies looting at CARI

The Center for Agriculture Research Institution (CARI) Director General in Suakoko District, Bong County, Dr. Walter Wiles has denied recent media reports and speculations over the alleged looting of materials from the institute.

The CARI Boss made the clarity to our Bong County correspondent this week following recent media reports in the county that Dr. Wiles allegedly looted the facility.

It was also widely speculated in the County that the CARI Director was allegedly using government employees at the institution to perform his private duties including working on his farm and keeping his cows at CARI.

But Dr. Wiles has denied the speculation and threatened legal action against anyone that will preach falsehood against him. He claims innocence on the numerous allegations looting government properties from CARI, saying he has contributed to improving the institution over the years.

He describes those making the claims as detractors, arguing that during the departure of UNMIL under his administration, there were so many items left, including over six high power KVA generators and other materials for the use of the institution.

He has told journalists that the generators and other items are currently in safe keeping at the institution, adding, “I am an Administrator, not someone who just took the job, I am well educated so I can’t sit and see an institution like CARI that has government investment then I downplay it.”

Our Bong County Correspondent says it is not really clear as to whether Dr. Wiles has turned over the institution to the head of Human Resource as mandated by President George Manneh Weah.

Dr. Wiles is alleged to still be using the materials owned by the institution, including the vehicle of the Director General. CARI is managed by Dr. Wiles who reports directly to the Minister of Agriculture in a centralized coordination system. Unlike many other national agricultural research institutes in Africa and elsewhere in the world, CARI does not have a Board of Governors, nor does it have a functional Technical Advisory Committee.

According to some radio callers, there is an urgent need for the revitalization and restructuring of CARI’s management system if the entity is to live to its mandate.

In the new structure, there is a proposal for a semi-autonomous CARI to have a Board of Directors composed of representatives of all key stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

The approach to revitalization of agriculture research in Liberia as envisioned in the FAPS strategy is the establishment of a National Agricultural Innovation System (NAIS) based upon the innovation systems.

Considerable change has occurred in the conceptual frameworks underlying agricultural research systems since CARI was first established in 1980.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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