Finance denies payment to Rocktown
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has refuted a report by FrontPageAfrica on Monday, 17 December under the Title Liberia: Kickback Suspected in US$180K Taylor-Era Debt Paid to ‘Inactive’ New York Company.
The Ministry of Finance says as far as its records show the payment request in question is still in internal audit and no such payment has been effected.Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management Augustus F. Flomo says the payment is still being processed through the internal system at the Ministry
“There has been absolutely no payments made to Rocktown up to and including the call of the press conference on Monday, 17 December,” he added.Mr. Flomo accuses the newspaper of allegedly being in the habit of releasing false report to the general public.
In its December 17, 2018 edition, FrontPageAfrica says in one of those documents it was releasing, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah had allegedly approved a payment of US$182,000.00 to a purported US-based construction company.
The local daily says a memo approving the payment to Rocktown Tool & Equipment Corporation of New York, USA was dated September 24, 2018, but alleges that its probe has found the company to be inactive since 2003, when the country had just emerged from civil war.
However, Deputy Minister Flomo notes the news story published by the local daily is not only false, but it’s also misleading.
Mr. Flomo adds that the story is intended to bring the government to public ridicule and to give citizens false impression on the workings of the government.
Minister Flomo narrates that the domestic debt service flows at the Finance Ministry goes through huge processes.
According to him, a potential claimant encourages people that have claims to make request to the Ministry of Finance, after which the Finance Minister will send it down to his deputies and assistant ministers.Minister Flomo explains that these processes are observed before it arrives at the Debt Management Unit.
He argues that there is no way the government can make any payment without bringing all these facts, adding that the Debt Management Unit consists of the Finance Ministry, Central Bank of Liberia, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of State.Meanwhile, Minister Flomo says Finance Ministry is requesting the paper to retract its story to avoid embarrassment.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley