The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning insists that it has in no way violated the Revised Travel Ordinance of 2016/2017 on Finance Minister Samuel Tweah’s official trip to China as reported in the Thursday, September 6, 2018 edition of the FrontPage Africa Newspaper.
According to a press release from the Ministry, the purchase of the Minister’s ticket to Beijing, China was in accordance with the Government of Liberia Revised Travel Ordinance of 2016/2017, which changed the traveling class of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and the Minister of Foreign Affairs respectively from economy to business class.
But Minister Tweah went a step further and upgraded his air ticket acquired by the Government of Liberia from Business Class to First Class at an additional expense of US$16,000.
The Ministry clarifies that officials or employees of government traveling on official government business abroad are free at their own will and expense to upgrade their ticket with absolutely no financial burden to government.
However, the release did not say in clear terms whether Minister Samuel Tweah did upgrade his air ticket from business class to First Class from his pocket or at his personal expense, something that would sound very incredible for an official traveling on state functions.
This has generated serious concern here, particularly at a time when the Pro Poor government that is desperately in need of funds to execute development programs, had go to China to seek financial aid.
Additionally, the Ministry says it has no knowledge of the purported ticket published by FrontPage Africa, which the paper claims belongs to Minister Tweah and was purchased from Worldwide Air Service in Osu, Ghana.
The release continues that contrary to what it describes as “deliberate falsehood being peddled by the FrontPage Africa”, the authentic ticket purchased by the Ministry for Minister Samuel D. Tweah’s
trip to China to attend the China-Africa Summit was purchased from Jos Travels and Tours, Inc. in Monrovia, Liberia instead.
The Ministry also adds that contrary to the concerns raised by the paper about adherence to the Procurement Policy, all procurement compliance requirements were met in acquiring tickets for the government official delegation to China. Press Release