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CBL faces audit

The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn Liberia-House writes GAC 

The Plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated its Chief Clark to write the General Auditing Commission or GAC to begin auditing the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL.

The House took the decision yesterday during its regular session.

The House indicated that the government stood for accountability and transparency and as such, the CBL should show the sign of committing to the transparency theory by submitting to the audit process.

The decision of the House’s Plenary was based on a communication written by Montserrado County Electoral District #6 Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, requesting that august body to act in the quest of auditing now than later. 

According to the Montserrado County lawmaker, for the past years, the management of Governor Dr. Joseph Mills Jones has conducted the affairs of the Central Bank without audit, and that the government cannot establish any transparency concept placing the finances in a stage that people cannot understand financially.  

He added that it was time to do the right thing by conducting a forensic audit of the bank, urging senior policy makers of the institution to humbly submit to the process of audit. 

According to Snowe, the audit should also include payroll, expenditure and full understanding of the micro loans scheme. 

“This is not about targeting someone in the process; it is how we as a government can convince our partners and  citizens that we are serious in combating the ‘deadly corruption virus’ eating up our country. The audit will establish the sincerity of the transactions of the CBL with other commercial banks here,” the lawmaker said.

Tuesday’s Plenary discussion of the matter was handled with ‘speed and harshness’, while the Chief Clark of the House of Representatives was seen in hurry to write the communication mandating the GAC to commence the audit as soon as possible.

The communication also requests the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC to conduct exhaustive investigation on the expansion of the micro loan scheme, with the mandate to establish a transparency factor of the loans program.

However, the Liberian Legislature and the Central Bank of Liberia have had bitter exchanges over the period, especially on the loan program. 

Many lawmakers, including senators, believed at the time, that the Central Bank Governor Jones was using the loan program as means to make himself popular with the people of Liberia in his reported quest of the presidency in 2017.

The House of Representatives-plagued with financial discrepancies over the years, has rejected any idea of being audited.

Though Dr, Jones is yet to neither deny nor confirm the information about his presidential bid, many who had benefited from the program termed the loan scheme as a means of government giving back to its citizens.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

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