Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has fired at critics of the government whom he insists are well aware of the depth and scope of Liberia’s institutional and policy changes under the Ellen led Government but are simply postulating with falsehood seeking to exploit a presumably gullible audience.
Minister Ngafuan believes that the Country’s democratic history and post war turn around would be further validated by the General and Presidential elections due in less than year and as such players on the landscape desperate to sway public support and admiration could machinate with deliberate inaccuracies that only seek to tune down public acceptability ratings of the incumbent.
But Minister Ngafuan reminded a team of Finance Ministry policy makers and representative of other line Ministries and agencies along with relevant partners, attending a day long dialogue on Public Financial Management reforms, that with a queue of new institutions and policies they have engendered accountability and probity, it’s unimaginable to insinuate that Liberia is worse off today.
Minister Ngafuan who returned recently from the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC,the United States, where over 39 Million Dollars were committed to tackle efforts aimed at improving roads and Energy in Liberia, questioned skeptics on how could Liberia be worse off with monumental structures that now form the basis for transparency and accountability to the public unlike in the past.
He named the establishment of the anti corruption Commission with powers to review and prosecute those connected to malfeasance and unfavorable activities within the state bureaucracy.
Minister Ngafuan noted that now that Liberia has an Auditor General with firm autonomy, a participatory Budget process that sees the population follow the income and expenditure of the State and the process being amendable to their suggestion and approval. “Liberia can only be better off unlike the grim picture that political doubting Thomases are hoping to convey.” Minister Ngafuan argued.
Minister Ngafuan rekindled government’s determination to increase deliverables to the Population across the length and breadth of the nation, from better medical centers and inspired health workers, to better Schools and motivated teachers to paved roads that energize farmers to ensure food sufficiency.
Minister Ngafuan amidst cheers cautioned employers of the Ministry of Finance to remain steadfast and courageous as they stand at strategic point in the nation’s reform process. He noted that they ought to strive for better results not with-standing the anticipated distraction in the coming Months.
Winning the War On Corruption
Minister Ngafuan also reminded the gathering of the government’s holistic approach towards the corruption menace he considered cancerous. Beyond long running prosecution, The Finance Boss asserted that complimentary approaches seeking to provide better capacity and improve compensation and other policy objectives are also in placed.
Too often Minister Ngafuan stressed, the emphasis on punishment have not really settle the prospect of the act coming back to haunt the system. He noted that when people are given better compensation for services rendered they are placed under the spot-light and their level of vulnerability is reduced.
With better training, employees in areas of decision making are well situated to confront weakness and lapses that could be easily exploited by people keen on croaking the process. He dismissed prophets of doom inflating Liberia’s challenge with the Corruption menace. Liberia’s continues to attract huge international and local ratings for straight adherence to anti graft laws and embracing judicial and administrative action against those found culpable.
On perception in some quarters that Liberia could be more endangered and hunted with the Corruption Dilemma today considering frequent reportage, Minister Ngafuan challenged Liberians to be more circumspect about changes.
He likened Liberia to a dark room paying host to evil unannounced and unnoticed. Minister Ngafuan continued that though the darkness of yesterday concealed the effects and danger of backwardness and corruption that doesn’t mean things was going well. He narrated furthered that the new political order has pointed the Light to this room, thus the full extent of its woes have now being viewed with all of its horrors.
Minister Ngafuan recalled that more people today have the atmosphere to speak about Corruption and its attending consequences but fortunately actions have being taken along with those reports and there are more institutions and forums to address the problem. He noted that these reports and subsequent actions cannot and should not be misinterpreted as the increase of Corruption.
Smiles for AFL, Health Workers
In what seem as an additional drive to stimulate Patriotism and dedication in the Country’s Military and across the Health centers in Liberia and other professional service providers to the Public the Government of Liberia is concluding technical and administrative details to increase the Wages of the National Army , Medical Personnel among others. The Finance Minister noted that things have change so fast and so much, though others are running from its reality for motives of their own even the blind and the dumb understand.
Unlike in the past when desperately low wages were made available with elaborate radio broadcast twice a year, Civil Servants have realized increment in their wages but regular payment days even before the month ends. He recalled that the Government has kept its commitment to public Servants since its inception in 2006, that has also cleared Million of Dollars in arrears it inherited from past government and has successfully earned over 4.6 billion debt cancellation from the world Bank and the International Monetary Fund,(IMF).
Minister Ngafuan reiterated that the upcoming pay rise for the National Army, and health Workers and other Service related professionals are part of a broader design by the Government to engendered better service to the Citizenry across the Nation.
Myth Surrounding the PRS
Amidst the ongoing national debate surrounding the eighty- Six Percent gains of the Poverty Reduction Strategy-PRS has achieved in its third year, Minister Ngafuan intimated that others are setting they own skew meaning for Poverty reduction, and unless the Minister of Finance alongside the Governor stand on the peak of the City distributing monies with a roll call poverty reduction would not have taken place.
Minister Ngafuan described the PRS as an indirect plan with strong impact on the nation and the Economic revitalization of its pillars. Minister Ngafuan who chairs the Economic revitalization Pillar of the PRS the bold initiatives from roads, to Health and education are carved and executed with directed impart of the Nation.
He noted that pave road for example enhances trade and free movements. “Roads also connect farmers to earn better results with their produce and stimulate education with students assessing schools and pregnant women easily assessing Health Centers eventually tackling ling infant mortality” Minister Kpehe Ngafuan remarked.
the Liberian Finance Minister pointed out that others seem more accommodating to the negatives other then positives, he recalled that earlier in the first year of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, PRS Planning Minister Amara Konneh reported that only eighteen percent of the PRS targeted projects have been achieved without any public rejection. Minister Ngafuan indicated that the Planning Minister returns with better ratings of the same document but others seem unwilling to give him the listening ears.