Weah tells cabinet: Time to deliver
By Emmanuel Wise Jipoh
President George Weah informs his cabinet, currently retreating in vote-rich Nimba County ahead of elections in 2023 that his government has entered a major phase of delivering to the Liberian people.
According to President Weah, for the past four years, government has been improving its image and enhancing its capacity, but it is time to deliver so that the impact can touch the lives of Liberians.
However, critics say four years is too long for any serious government to prepare to deliver on its promises, noting that with barely 15 months to elections, Mr. Weah is beginning to campaign for his second term bid.
Chairing the third cabinet retreat since he came to office in 2018, President Weah on Monday, 11 July urged members of his cabinet to double up in tackling their various tasks and responsibilities to, in his words, “reach Liberia to the promised land.”
He calls for more cohesiveness and effective coordination amongst cabinet members, which he notes is indispensable to the expeditious achievement of the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The President continues that in the last four years, his government has made great strides in the implementation of development projects across the country, and it is, therefore, imperative to review the status of those projects to ensure that they are fully aligned with the goals and intentions to take Liberia to its desired destination.
According to him, he has included a Presidential Development Tour in the retreat activities, so that he can inspect key development projects and initiatives in Nimba County which has the largest voting population next to Montserrado County, the seat of government.
“It is my expectation that all of you participants will actively engage in this Retreat, as we are now entering a crucial period for this Administration. In October 2023, just 15 months from now, the Liberian people will have the constitutional opportunity to reward us for the results we are achieving.
It is, therefore, imperative that all hands are on deck with a full commitment to ensure that we get a resounding victory”, Mr. Weah further urges the cabinet.
However, the government is engulfed with massive corruption with development funds being misapplied or directly siphoned.
Government audit reports are replete with improprieties and mismanagement of public funds that the President seems to be turning blind eyes on.
Liberians are still struggling to digest claims by the Minister of Finance Samuel Tweh that he reallocated 27 million from the National Road Fund to pay salary. The Road Fund is exclusively for road maintenance across the country.
In what seems to be a cover-up subsequently, the Liberian Legislature that is led by members of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change hurriedly passed a resolution, endorsing the diversion of the Road Fund.
As if that was not enough, there are reports that the account of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Service (LISGIS) is depleted. LISGIS is supposed to conduct housing and population census ahead of elections in 2023, but it has postponed the process three times amid alarm by the director of census that top bosses have been withdrawing money from the census account.
The latest impropriety in the Weah administration involves the reported disappearance of 1.5 million gallons of petroleum products valued at US$6 million from storage tanks at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company that the government is yet to address. Editing by Jonathan Browne