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Liberia retrogressing

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Liberia’s Finance Minister Samuel Tweah says data from the latest United States Compact eligibility report shows that Liberia is retrogressing, stressing the need for the country to pass probably 12 or 13 indicators to be better positioned for US$500m compact.

“The latest eligibility report has come out and it does show that looking at 2017 data, the country is retrogressing,” he said Saturday morning, 24 November at Bella Casa in Sinkor.“We’re looking for 500 million then we got 259, we are happy with that. We’re now looking to see if we can replicate that to get probably 500 million to do some regional roads [along the Ivory Coast],” he says.

To get that kind of envelop, Minister Tweah emphasizes that Liberia needs to pass probably 12 or 13 indicators because countries that access United States’ compact money will have to meet certain eligibility criteria and they must have at least half of 20 indicators.2017 Data from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) report indicates that Liberia failed miserably in controlling corruption, scoring 0.12 percent and also scoring -4.4 in fiscal policy.

Liberia also scores -0.07 for rule of law; 12.4 percent in inflation; -0.15 in regulatory quality; 60.1 on trade policy; -0.45 on government effectiveness; and 56 on freedom of information, among others.Minister Tweah says the seminar was under the auspices of the Steering Committee of the Compact’s eligibility process.

At the seminar, Minister Tweah notes that countries that access the U.S. MCC compact must pass the fight against corruption indicator and rule of law and justice indicators.He recalls that when he was working for the MCC four or five years ago, Liberia did pass the compact which has financed the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant and some of the road matching funds.

Minister Tweah indicates at the start of the seminar that based on the MCC report of the 2017 data, the Steering Committee has been meeting, which includes a meeting in September and another meeting some two weeks back.

Finance Minister Tweah expresses thanks to the committee members for all the works they have done, and further expresses confidence that there is no way Liberia can fail if “we go through” the new methodology that has been brought forth by the team.

He notes that in this government, they don’t believe that any single entity will be responsible for the success of the government, saying where an entity is falling, another will come to push the failing entity to succeed.H says if an entity does not succeed, it is about the entire government and the country.

By Winston W. Parley

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