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Letter: Kill the Proposed Maritime Authority Bill

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Kill the Bill, Madame President, in the best interest of the Liberian People. We do not need this economy killer and seed of corrupt practice Bill. The LISCR is already doing all functions as proposed by this Bill. This is an attempt to rob the Liberian people blind, especially, with their eyes wide open.

 

Open Letter To Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia
Kill the Proposed Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) Bill


August 24, 2010

Madame Sirleaf,

It is very disheartening to know that the proposed Act transforming the Bureau of Maritime Affairs (BMA) to Liberian Maritime Authority (LMA) is still being drafted and forced through an incompetent, bribe prone Legislature.

Its is also very unsettling, that you, Madame President and Mr. Kesselley are insistent upon ramming this seditious, corrupt bill down the Liberian people’s throat. Mrs. Sirleaf and Mr. Kesselley, this Bill is not in the best interest of the Liberian People. This Bill is not in the interest of “Best Practices” as is described by Mr. Kesselley. This Bill ferments a culture of corruption and impunity. This Bill produces an “Imperial” Governmental Agency, sanctioned by the President of the Liberia for selfish reasons.

Madame President, you and Binyan will be culpable in robbing the Liberian people of the valuable resources the country needs for selfish political and personal gain. What other employment opportunity is the LMA going to create that BMA cannot?

The reasons given by Mr. Kesselley so far do not support the creation of the LMA. Liberia does not self-manage her registry; in fact, we contract out this function and will continue to do so under the LMA. The section of the Act which seeks to have the LMA “establish and maintain the capacity to conduct maritime surveillance, etc” is a function of the Liberian Coast Guard. The Liberian Coast Guard should be funded and supported for this function, not the LMA.

The Act proposes a reported seven year term for the Commissioner, and authorizes the Commissioner to select his/her deputies. Is this “Best Practice”? Mrs. Sirleaf, common sense tells us that this is a recipe for selective cronies and the Commissioner to gorge the Republic of valuable resources, with impunity. All autonomous Agency heads, including the BMA or LMA, should serve at the pleasure of the President, period. This would engender transparency and accountability and curb, in the least, some form of corrupt practice.

Also, the BMA or LMA should not be exempt from being audited by the General Auditing as it is a governmental agency. This agency especially, a major contributor to the budget of the Republic should be audited regularly by the GSA. Ironically, this agency budget has never been made public.

The salaries of the Commissioner and staff are so secretive. At one time, the Commissioner was so arrogant in stating that his salary was none of the Liberian people’s business. Madame President, we the Liberian people demand to know, not only the BMA budget and salary, but your salary and every other government entity

Moreover, Mrs. Sirleaf, any unnecessary money retained by the BMA/LMA is taking away from the National budget and development; money which can be spent to support more useful reconstruction projects needed by the people.

The propose LMA should be abandoned, now and forever. The propose Act to create the LMA is not what former U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius had in mind in 1948. The BMA was created to provide a flag of convenience and revenue source for the government. At this time in our history, we cannot afford to relinquish one additional penny to some frivolous autonomous authority.

Kill the Bill, Madame President, in the best interest of the Liberian People. We do not need this economy killer and seed of corrupt practice Bill. The LISCR is already doing all functions as proposed by this Bill. This is an attempt to rob the Liberian people blind, especially, with their eyes wide open.

This incompetent and bribe prone Legislature is abetting this process, also.

This Bill should be stopped.

Sincerely

Ramses K Nah
Ramses_nah@yahoo.com

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