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Liberia remains an underperformer in corruption fight


By Lewis S. Teh

Just a day following President George Manneh Weah’s 5th annual address to the 54th Legislature, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has reported that Liberia remains an underperformer and one of the biggest decliners worldwide since 2012 in the fight against corruption.

“Although Liberia’s score is 29, compared to 28 in 2019 and 2020 respectively, it remains an underperformer and one of the biggest decliners worldwide, since 2012,” CENTAL reported here Tuesday, 25 January 2022.

The pro-integrity group says the 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) finding has ranked Liberia 136th in the fight against corruption.

Releasing the institution’s 2021 CPI report, CENTAL Executive Director Mr. Anderson Miamen told a press conference at his office in Sinkor that the finding places Liberia far below the score of countries that made significant progress, including neighboring countries in the West African region.

According to Miamen, Liberia now ranks 136/180 and remains further down the table, joining the list of countries significantly declining on the CPI. 

With the exception of Saint Lucia which has dropped fifteen points and Syria 13 points, globally, only Liberia has fallen thirteen points since 2012.

Miamen narrated that since the country attained its highest score of 41 in 2012, it has failed to perform any better. 

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“It must be indicated that Liberia’s improved performance then was largely due to passage of key laws and establishment of public integrity institutions,” Miamen said.

“Unfortunately, the Country has since failed to make these institutions and laws work, as the laws are not enforced/respected and public integrity institutions are not fully supported (morally, financially, and otherwise) to satisfactorily deliver,” he continued. 

CENTAL said its deeply worried over Liberia’s continuous poor performance, especially being placed among the worst decliners worldwide. 

In part, Miamen said, this speaks to the Liberian Government’s inability to address entrenched culture of impunity and fully enforce existing anti-corruption laws and policies.

He indicated that Liberians have heard more words and promises from the President and other public officials than concerted genuine efforts/actions in the fight against Corruption in the country.

“There can be no successful fight against Corruption if the Rule of Law is not upheld; if the Legislature and the Judiciary are weak; if infrastructure projects are prioritized over governance and anti-corruption issues,” said Mr. Miamen.

He claimed that the president remains silent on numerous allegations of corruption against his officials and the laws are meant for others and not senior government officials and their friends and relatives.

According to Miamen, the national budget is used as a tool for political corruption and investigations into major scandals and allegations of corruption are stalled or seemingly endless.

Meanwhile CENTAL said if Liberia must get on the right trajectory of fighting corruption as compared to its counterparts in the region, President Weah must take the lead in pursuing a sincere and holistic fight against corruption.

“CENTAL [is] recommending that President George Weah leads by example and pursue a sincere and holistic fight against Corruption that does not protect certain individuals and groups accused of corruption, especially those who appear to be very close to the Presidency,” he recommended.

According to Miamen, in 2021, the CPI showed a decade of stagnating corruption levels amid human rights abuses and democratic decline in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He stated that Progress is stalled, while over 90 percent of countries score below 50, noting that the Sub-Saharan Africa average is 33, the lowest in the world. 

In the last decade, 43 countries in the region have either declined or made no significant progress.  Since 2012, Botswana (55), Liberia(29), Mali(29) and South Sudan(11) have significantly declined on the CPI.

“With a score of 70, Seychelles earned the highest mark in the region, followed by Botswana (55) and Cape Verde (58) as distant runners-up. Only six countries in the region have significantly improved their scores over that period: Seychelles(70), Senegal (43), Ethiopia(39), Tanzania(39), Côte d’Ivoire (36) and Angola (29),” said Miamen.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/cental-be-non-selective-in-corruption-fight/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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