Website URL: www.cental.org.lr
Wednesday, 13 September 2023 10:21

Press Statement for Immediate Release

CENTAL Encourages New LACC Commissioners to Lead by Example and Be Robust    

Monrovia, Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Distinguished members of the press, fellow Liberians, and partners. We would like to appreciate Liberians for their largely peaceful participation in the ongoing campaign activities, which are key components of the ensuing Presidential and Legislative Elections. As the election date gets nearer, we would again like to remind the various political parties and candidates about their responsibility to uphold the Farmington Declaration, which was signed on April 4, 2023, demanding peaceful, free, fair, and credible elections. Also, CENTAL would like to remind Liberians about the need to properly examine the various Candidates vying for public offices. Voting for corrupt and bad leaders will mean stalling the development and progress of the country. So, be careful whom you vote for, as you will have to live with the consequences of your October 10, 2023 decisions/choices for the next six to nine years.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, on September 6, 2023, the Liberian Senate confirmed the seven (7) Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission’s Commissioners who were nominated by President Weah on June 8, 2023. Those confirmed by the Liberian Senate included Cllr. Alexandra Kormah Zoe, Chairperson, Mr. Ernest R. Hughes, Vice Chairperson, and Mr. Randolph E. Tebbs, Commissioner for Monitoring and Investigation. Dr. Miatta Jeh and Atty. Samuel F. Dakana were confirmed as Commissioners for Monitoring and Investigation, while Cllr. Oretha Snyder Davis and Cllr. David Wilson were confirmed as Commissioners for Prosecution respectively. 

CENTAL commends the government of Liberia, its partners, and Civil Society Organizations for their roles played throughout the process, which led to the vetting of these Liberians, their nomination by the President, and subsequent confirmation by the Liberian Senate. Essentially, also, we like to commend the outgoing leadership of LACC, especially Cllr. Edward Kla Martin and his team for bringing relative stability and sanctity to the Commission, after a turbulent past, as the Commission was largely in the media for the wrong reasons. The new batch of officials have an appreciable foundation upon which they can build.

Fellow Liberians, Liberia needs a robust, independent, well-resourced, and public-interest driven LACC more than ever before. This is particularly important as Corruption is becoming pervasive in Liberia, especially in the public sector. Government’s 26 score out of a possible 100 on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International shows the scale of the problem at hand. The lack of actions against public officials sanctioned by the United States Government for alleged significant corruption shows lack of will and major gaps in the Liberian government’s anti-corruption efforts. Thankfully, on the other hand, citizens are becoming more concerned and demanding accountability and transparency from their government.

Considering the criticality of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in the fight against corruption in Liberia, we encourage the new corps of officers to tread cautiously and lead by example during the discharge of their duties. With the confirmation of these officials, the public expects to see a new, energized, and robust LACC, especially now that it has Direct Prosecutorial Power, which has since been lacking. The Country cannot afford to waste any more time in decisively dealing with her worst enemy: Corruption. While we acknowledge past efforts, they have not been enough to give Liberians the positive results anticipated, as public officials abuse public resources with so much Impunity.

The burden is on the new batch of Commissioners to change these negative narratives and give hope to Liberians by making impunity for corruption an issue of the past. CENTAL, the public, development partners, and other stakeholders will be keenly watching to see if this new LACC will live up to expectations by serving the Liberian people, instead of appointing authority or so-called big hands in government and other places in society. We urge the new leadership to endear itself to the public by robustly, timely, and impartially investigating and prosecuting alleged incidences of corruption, including those involving “big hands” in the government.

In conclusion, we call on the national government to provide adequate financial and logistical support to the Commission to operate robustly and independently. Meanwhile, we call on the Commission to forge meaningful partnerships with stakeholders, including civil society and citizens, if it must succeed in its work. Additionally, we call on development partners to provide financial and logistical support to the Commission to be fully operational. We firmly believe that the success of Liberia’s anti-corruption endeavors hinges on collective vigilance and collaborative efforts. CENTAL recommits to being a key partner in this regard.

Thank you.




Thursday, 10 August 2023 15:51

Request for External Auditor


August 1, 2023



1.  Introduction

CENTAL, hereafter referred to as the “Cooperation Partner” wishes to engage the services of an audit firm for the purpose of auditing the National Integrity Building and Anti-Corruption (NIBA) or "Liberia Anti-Corruption Integrity Programme’, as stipulated in the agreement between the Cooperation partner and Sida. The audit shall be carried out in accordance with international audit standards (ISA) issued by IAASB[1]. In addition, an assignment according to International Standards on Related Services (ISRS) 4400 shall be carried out. The audit and the additional assignment shall be carried out by an external, independent, and qualified auditor.

  • Qualification of the Firm/Auditor and Key Requirements

The audit shall be performed by a certified audit firm in good standing with the Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accounts (LICPA). Other qualifications of the auditor/firm are:

  • Must have at least two years of experience performing independent and professional audit (s) of key institutions, especially non-governmental organizations, in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs).
  • Must be completely impartial and independent from all aspects of management or financial interests in the entity being audited.
  • Must not be employed by, serve as director for, or have any financial or close business relationships with any senior participant in the management of the entity, especially during the period covered by the audit nor while undertaking the audit. It is required that the auditor discloses any relationship (s) that might possibly compromise his/her independence.
  • Must be experienced in applying either ISA or INTOSAI audit standards, whichever is applicable for the audit.
  • And must assign adequate staff with appropriate professional qualifications and suitable experiences with ISA or INTOSAI standards, including experiences in auditing the accounts of entities comparable in size and complexity to the entity being audited.

3.  Objectives and Scope of the Audit

The objective is to audit the financial report for the period 1st August 2022 to 31st July 2023, as submitted to Sida, and to express an audit opinion according to ISA, applying ISA 800/ISA 805, on whether the financial report of the National Integrity Building and Anti-Corruption Program or ‘Liberia Anti-Corruption Integrity Programme’ is in accordance with the Cooperation partner´s accounting records and Sida’s requirements for financial reporting, as stipulated in the agreement including appendices between Sida and Cooperation partner (Agreement).

4.  Additional assignment; according to agreed-upon procedures ISRS 4400, review the following areas in accordance with the Terms of Reference below

          Mandatory procedures that must be included:

  • Observe whether the financial report is structured in a way that allows for direct comparison with the latest approved budget[2].
  • Observe and inspect whether the financial report provides information regarding:
  • Financial outcome per budget line (both incomes and costs) for the reporting period and columns for cumulative information regarding earlier periods under the current agreement.
  • When applicable, compare if the opening fund balance[3] for the reporting period matches with what was stated as the closing fund balance in the previous reporting period.
  • A disclosure of exchange gains/losses. Inquire and confirm whether the disclosure includes the entire chain of currency exchange from Sida’s disbursement to the handling of the project/program within the organization in local currency/ies, if applicable.
  • Explanatory notes (such as for instance, accounting principles applied for the financial report).
  • Amount of funds that has been forwarded to implementing partners, when applicable.
    • a) Inquire and inspect with what frequency salary costs during the reporting period are debited to the project/program.

  Choose a sample of three individuals for three different months and:

  • Inquire and inspect whether there is supporting documentation[4] for debited salary costs.
  • Inquire and inspect whether actual time worked is documented and verified by a manager. Inquire and inspect within which frequency reconciliations between debited time and actual worked time is performed.
  • Inspect whether the Cooperation partner complies with applicable tax legislation with regard to personal income taxes (PAYE)[5] and social security fees.

4. a) Inspect and confirm that the unspent fund balance (according to the financial report) at the end of the financial year is in line with the information provided in the accounting system and/or bank account.

5. Procurements:

a) Inquire and inspect whether the Cooperation partner has purchased services or goods above the thresholds in the procurement guidelines annexed or referred to in the agreement. Obtain a list of all purchased services and goods during the reporting period and identify all transactions above the agreed threshold.

b) Select two of the identified transactions above the threshold and determine whether they were subject to bidding procedures and in compliance with procurement requirements, if applicable.

5. The Reporting

The report shall be signed by the responsible auditor (not just the audit firm[6]) and shall include the title of the responsible auditor.

Reporting from the ISA assignment

The report from the auditor shall include an independent auditor’s report in accordance with the format in standard ISA 800/805 and the auditor’s opinion shall be clearly stated.  The financial report that has been the subject of the audit shall be attached to the audit report.

The report shall also include a Management letter that discloses all audit findings, as well as weaknesses identified during the audit process. The auditor shall make recommendations to address the identified findings and weaknesses. The recommendations shall be presented in priority order and with a risk classification.

Measures taken by the Cooperation partner to address weaknesses identified in previous audits shall also be presented in the Management Letter. If the previous audit did not have any findings or weaknesses to be followed-up on, a clarification of this must be disclosed in the audit reporting.

If the auditor assesses that no findings or weaknesses have been identified during the audit that would result in a Management Letter, an explanation of this assessment must be disclosed in the audit reporting.

Reporting from the ISRS 4400 assignment

6. Submission of Audit Report

A minimum of six (6) copies of the signed report will be submitted to CENTAL for further use or publication.

7. Cost of Audit

The audit will be performed for a reasonable amount that will represent/cover all costs associated with the work to be performed. The payment term shall be agreed between the Cooperation Partner (CENTAL) and the audit firm. However, it will be in not less than two installments, with the final payment made following the successful completion of the task and submission of the final report, in line with the TOR.

8. Application Procedure and Package:

All interested qualified applicants are encouraged to email their complete applications/proposals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a certified copy to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before August 17, 2023, at 11:59 PM local time.  In addition to other documents and requirements, the application package should include the Curriculum vitae (CVs) of the principal of the firm of auditors who would be responsible for signing the opinion, together with the CVs of managers, supervisors, and key personnel proposed as part of the audit team. CVs submitted should include details of audits carried out by the applicable staff, including any ongoing assignment (s) indicating capability and capacity to satisfactorily undertake the task in question.

[1] The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)

Template decision no:2021-002235  Department: VERKSTOD/JUR  Other: 

Version no: 1.2  Date: 20211110  Other:

[2] The budget is attached to the agreement with Sida as an annex and any updates should be supported by written approval by Sida.

[3] I.e. funds remaining from disbursements made during the previous reporting period/s

[4] Debited salary costs should be verified by supporting documentation such as employment contracts.

[5] Pay As You Earn

Liberia: Inadequate Support to the Disabled Hampered Livelihood

Written by: Akiah P. Glay. Dormoh

August 7, 2023, 2023



For ages, the quality of life for people living with disabilities has been negatively impacted by a combination of societal attitudes, limited accessibility, inadequate educational structures, and system. poverty. And living in Liberia, whose economy is still struggling to recover from the effects of the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemic, access to basic life necessities like education, healthcare, and economic empowerment for persons living with disabilities has become even more cumbersome.

Globally, an estimated 1.3 billion people, or 16% according to the World Health Organization (WHO) experience a significant disability. The WHO Global Report[1] on health equity for persons with disabilities demonstrates that while some progress has been made in recent years, the world is still far from realizing this right for many persons with disabilities who continue to die earlier, have poorer health, and experience more limitations in everyday functioning than others. And in  Africa, according to World Bank data, approximately 80 million[2] people are living with a disability.

Sadly, in Liberia, current and accurate data on disability is unknown. Nevertheless, Population Services International believes that the war may have contributed to the increase of disability in Liberia from an initially reported 16% in 1997[3] to nearly 20%, which is significantly higher than the world’s average of 10%[4]. According to HOPE, a group whose mandate is to provide vital support for children who have lost their limbs through war, accidents, and lack of access to medical care, about 99%[5] of people with disabilities live in extreme poverty compared to 48% of the population, and only one-third 1/3 of school-age disability children are enrolled in school. This means people living with disabilities in Liberia are at a heightened vulnerability of legal and economic inequalities, abuse, and human rights violations which increases their risk of living in extreme poverty. The article calls for the promotion, accessibility, and inclusion of persons with disability in all areas of society in Liberia including education, employment, public spaces, and healthcare. It highlights the importance of removing physical and attitudinal barriers that hinders the full participation of individuals with a disability. This includes providing reasonable accommodations, ensuring equal access to information, and services, and fostering an inclusive environment that values diversity.

Disability in Context:

Disability is a complex concept that can be defined and understood in various ways depending on the context and perspective. While the definition may seem similar, the Medical Model of Disability defines it as an impairment or conduction that limits an individual’s physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental abilities. According to the model, disability is seen as a personal problem that needs to be diagnosed, treated, or cured discretely. There are various types of disability in Liberia ranging from speech impairment to mental inability. Due to a lack of data on disabilities, it is difficult to mention accurately all forms of disabilities. The 2008 National census indicated the different kinds of disabilities in Liberia, including persons with limited use of legs and arms or amputees, hearing, sight, and speech difficulty, persons with mental retardation, and persons with multiple disabilities[6]. In the years since the end of the war in 2003, Liberia has taken steps towards ensuring disabilities population is recognized, but numerous challenges still remain. In 2005, the National Commission on Disabilities was established and the 2018[7] National Action Plan for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities was also adopted for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. The goal of the plan is to promote the welfare and rights of the disabled in Liberia, while also aiming to include them in the governance process and provide financial assistance through social security. These fine-drafted policies and institutions will continue to encounter challenges if deliberate efforts are not made to promote education and eliminate poor standards of living among disabled people in Liberia. 

Though persons living with disabilities could be classified as male or female, in many cases, it is appropriate to disaggregate women, men, and persons living with disabilities data in order to understand and address their specific needs. For instance, women may experience gender-based discrimination and inequality, as such unequal pay, limited access to education, and gender-based violence. On the other hand, persons living with disabilities may face barriers related to accessibility, discrimination in employment, or limited access to healthcare.  Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between recognizing the specific needs and experiences of different groups while also acknowledging the potential intersections of identities and the challenges faced by individuals who belong to multiple marginalized groups. It helps to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach to addressing inequalities and promoting social justice.


First and foremost, the lack of accurate and up-to-date data on disability could affect capacity building, policy development and implementation, awareness and advocacy, and a lot more. Without accurate data, it becomes difficult for governments and organizations to allocate resources effectively. Funding and support may not be allocated in proportion to the actual number and specific needs of individuals with disability resulting in limited access to essential services, such as healthcare, employment, and social support[8]. Funding allotted to disability does not seem to produce a better outcome as persons with a disability still find it difficult to integrate into society[9].

Support to persons living with disability in two years 2022-2023


support to NCD

Support under the office of the Vice President (Group of 77

Education Sector (Liberia School of the Blind)

Youth and Sport (Deaf & Dumb Alethic Association



$629 098

$423 727

$50 000

$2 000

$1 104 825


$555 897

$413 727

$50 000

$2 000

$1 021 624

Support from the national government to education for persons living with disability is limited as seen in the table above. The evaluation of the Liberia National Action Plan 2018-2022, undertaken in tandem with the development of the next disability inclusion plan NAP 2023 – 2027, with support from UNDP, found that disabilities livelihood has seen very little improvement; and it can be contributed lack of political will, a systemic belief that disability is a low priority issue, and lack of accountability is grossly undermining the rights, wellbeing, and inclusion of people with disabilities[10] financial allotment from the government to disabilities organizations clearly show the lack of interest exerted.

The 2022 and 2023 fiscal year budget shows US$ 50.000 to support education for the blind. That amount divided by fifteen counties will mean, each county will receive US% 3,333 annually for education, which is relatively nothing. Not to mention the US$ 2,000 that is allotted for sports. There are numerous constraints amongst persons living with disability in Liberia that need to be addressed. In employment, persons with disability are barely spotted, and income-generating opportunities are limited. Most of them have limited vocational training skills because of the lack of educational opportunities.  Also, many public infrastructures and facilities in Liberia, such as transportation, buildings, and public spaces, lack adequate accommodation for disabled people.  A Report of Community-Based Emancipatory Disability Research (CB-EDR) 2018- done by AIFO expresses the many challenges encountered by persons with disabilities. The report acknowledges that there exist barriers to educational opportunities for persons with disability.  According to the report, in Grand Gedeh County, out of 600 disabled children, only 10 were in school, and in Nimba, out of 22 visual impair persons, only 2 had had higher education while the remaining 20 had no education. Aside from educational opportunity, Issues related to lack of livelihood opportunities and widespread poverty was key component found in the report[11]. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, and Pro-Poor Government Agenda pillar 5 that promotes inclusion and the NCD Act of Liberia, there should be a national momentum to ensure that marginalized groups, not least people with disabilities, are included, and accounted for in the mainstream development efforts in Liberia. Policies are not enough, enforcement and implementation of the policies and the government’s willingness to vigorously engaged and address issues relating to disabilities will to some extent elevate disabled people from poverty. This will require robust evidence on both the current situation of people with disabilities and the effectiveness of various approaches to support inclusion. It is visible that other countries including South Africa are initiating policies to promote employment opportunities for the disabled such as its 1998 Employment Equity Act and its Skill Development Act that recognizes

people with disabilities as one of the target groups for the purposes of skills development and advancement in the workplace. Also, the implementation of the 2011 Sierra Leone Disability Act led to the recruitment of four (4) police officers to work in the communication center. This is a great lesson and Liberia must learn and enhance the livelihood of persons with disability.

Conclusion and Recommendation

The government needs to conduct regular surveys, studies, or data to ensure the information on persons with disabilities remains up to date in order to be informed on how to tailor programs and services for persons with disability. Also, the governments shall create policies and initiatives that promote the employment of persons with disabilities. This may include setting quotas for disability representation in the workforce and providing incentives to employers who hire persons with disabilities. Finally, the government needs to allocate adequate financial resources to support programs and services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. This includes funding for inclusive education, vocational training, assistive technologies, and other support services. In conclusion, promoting equality for disabled individuals is a fundamental aspect of a just and inclusive society. identifying and treating disability issues discreetly is a way to challenge societal biases and stereotypes associated with disabilities. It encourages a shift in focus from the disability itself to the abilities and potential of each person. By emphasizing equality, we can create an environment that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their abilities.


[1] Kamenov. D; Barrett, D; Pearce, E; et al (2022); Global Report on Health Equity for Persons with Disability (World Health Organization; (P; 16) retrieved July 17, 2023

[2] The World Bank: “ Challenges Facing Persons with Disabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa-in 5 Charts (Retrieved 17/07/23):   https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/brief/challenges-facing-people-with-disabilities-in-sub-saharan-africa-in-5-charts

[3]   Azubike C Onuora-Oguno: “African Disability Right Year Book: (retrieved July 18, 2023)    


[4] Building Market “Changing Liberian Attitude Towards the Disabled (2013) Retrieved (July 18, 2023): https://buildingmarkets.org/changing-liberian-attitudes-toward-the-disabled/

[5] Elizabeth’s Legacy of HOPE: Some Facts about Liberia (Retrieved July 18, 2023) https://elizabethslegacyofhope.org/amputees/country-profiles/country-profile-liberia/

[6] Deepak, Sunil (2021) “Barriers Faced by Persons Living with Disabilities in Liberia Report of a Community-Based Emancipatory Disabilities Research (CB-EDR 2018-2019): Retrieved july, 2023:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356357123_Barriers_Faced_by_Persons_with_Disabilities_in_Liberia_Report_of_a_Community-Based_Emancipatory_Disability_Research_CB-ED

[7] The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 2018-2022 National Action Plan for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Liberia https://changemakersforchildren.community/system/files/2021-05/National%20Action%20Plan%20on%20the%20Inclusion%20of%20Persons%20with%20Disabilities.pdf

[8] Liberia National Budget Fiscal Year 2022  (P: 321; 103; 314; 301) file:///C:/Users/Admin/Downloads/BudgetBook2022%20_V2%20(4).pdf

[9] Disability and Poverty in Liberia (October 2021) Retrieved, July 18, 2023: https://borgenproject.org/disability-and-poverty-in-liberia/



[11] AIFO Report of a Community-Based Emancipatory Disability Research (CB-EDR) “Barrier Faced by Persons Living with Disabilities in Liberia-2018-2021: https://aifoliberia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Liberia_EDR_Full-Report.pdf

Tuesday, 01 August 2023 15:19

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Monrovia, Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media, fellow Liberians and development partners.

As we move closer to the October 2023 elections, CENTAL urges all Liberians, especially ordinary citizens to thoroughly examine those who seek their votes for elective offices –President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative. Anti-corruption and Integrity should be the main qualities required of candidates/those seeking your support/votes.  Corrupt and greedy politicians will dash your hopes when elected. So, be very careful who you trust with your precious votes during these elections. Support/Vote only for people who do not steal or have proven to have Integrity.

Fellow Liberians, on July 28, 2023, the Coalition for Democratic Change - CDC- named her Campaign Team for the ensuing October 2023 Liberian Elections. Atty. Garrison Yealue, Chairman of the Governance Commission - GC - was named as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Administration. CENTAL is deeply concerned about this development.  The appointment of Atty. Yealue does not only contravene the law but is ill-advised and counterproductive to good governance efforts in Liberia. As we all are aware, the Governance Commission has had a history of playing a very critical role in reviving our democracy by promoting good governance in Liberia. This institution has had some of Liberia’s best brains as heads, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Dr. Amos Claudiaus Sawyer, (deceased), and others, who managed to ensure that they and the institution stayed neutral during heated political periods.

The action of the CDC violates several provisions of the 2007 Act creating the Commission, which is required to be independent and politically neutral. Also, the decision violates the 2014 Code of Conduct for public officials and its amendment of 2022. This is an extremely troubling decision that should be immediately reversed, to avoid rendering the already dormant and underperforming GC unworthy of the trust and confidence of the public and development partners whose engagements and partnerships with the Commission are indispensable to her success.

Section 2.2 of the 2007 GC Act states; ‘’the Commission shall be an INDEPENDENT body of the government. It shall be financially autonomous, Operationally Independent, and generally free of undue influence from any source, in pursuit of its mandate.’’ The Independence of the Commission is reinforced by Section 5.3.4, which states; ‘’ thus Commissioners must be non-partisan to prevent the governance agenda and process from being a political one.’’  Additionally, Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct states that “all officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not engage in political activities… [or] serve on a campaign team of any political party or the campaign of any independent candidate.”

We are, therefore, not only astonished by the latest decision of the Party, which undermines her own government’s anti-corruption and good governance agenda, but are also dismayed at the acceptance of the appointment by the said official. For a government underperforming at all levels on key governance indicators, especially Liberia’s 26 score and gross underperformance on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, it should endeavor to win the trust and confidence of the public and development partners. The latest decision of the party and government does not help such a cause. This is more than troubling, especially for the head of such an institution that should know better and lead by example.

In a March 7, 2023 statement published on the Governance Commissioner’s website welcoming her newly appointed Chairperson, among other things, the Commission asserts that Mr. Yealue brings experiences from three branches of government and that the commission ‘’will lean largely on his experience to rebrand the institution and lead reform processes across the public sector.’’ CENTAL fully agrees that the Commission desperately needs such rebranding, as it has been engulfed by gross underperformance and in-fighting among commissioners on one hand and among commissioners and some staff on another hand.

Unfortunately, the contrary is what the public has witnessed since his ascendency to the chairmanship of the once revered and enviable Commission that promoted meritocracy, led by example, and set other high standards in the public sector.

In multiple posts and videos on Facebook, Mr. Yealue can be seen/heard engaging in active campaigns and or political activities in Nimba, in flagrant violation of the Act creating the institution. Instead of rebranding and uplifting the commission, its decline is increasingly evident, much to the disappointment of many, especially campaigners of good governance. If key development partners have been staying away from the Commission, the latest action of the government and CDC does little to salvage the situation. Instead of helping, it will further dampen the chances of the commission getting financial, technical, and other support from development organizations for any substantive work. Who wants to do serious business with an institution that should be independent and politically neutral, when its head is into active politics?

In conclusion, we call on President Weah and the CDC to remove Mr. Yealue from their campaign team, as it sends a very bad signal to the public, development partners, and even staff of the institution who are supposed to be politically neutral, especially policy experts that are supposed to advise the national government on what independent and evidence-based policy directions the country should take. The sooner the Government and CDC did this, the better it will be for their reputation, the independence of the Commission, and the much-needed rebranding of the institution that has been largely dormant since 2018.

As we have also seen other government officials abusing their offices by actively engaging in political activities and misusing government assets in the process, we call for the immediate cessation of such practice, as it creates an unequal playing field for electoral activities in the country. Using government-assigned properties for political activities disadvantages others, when all political parties and candidates should be using their own assets and resources for political activities. Unfortunately, the President is yet to appoint the Ombudsman designated by law with responsibilities over such issues. This is disappointing, to say the least. We reiterate calls for President George Weah to make an appointment to the office of the Ombudsman to oversee all matters related to violation of the Code of Conduct for public officials and other related laws and policies.

Lastly, we call on citizens, the media, and civil society to closely watch and report corruption, abuse of incumbency, and other acts that will undermine the freeness, transparency, and fairness of the October elections. Let’s engage and play our required roles in ensuring that the first post-war elections to be managed entirely by Liberians are satisfactorily conducted, in full compliance with relevant Liberian laws and election-related global best practices.


Anderson Miamen

Executive Director


By Gabiel Sawah


Education, health, and sports top the priority projects to be implemented with funding from the County Development Fund (CDF) for Rivercess County. In a resolution at the 2023 county sitting, about 18.4% of the fund was allotted to health, and 23.25% to education. This means 41.65% of US$ 200.000, the total amount disbursed to the County as County Development Fund (CDF) was allotted to education and health. Also, complying with the 2018 Local Government Act that promotes decentralization and the establishment of the County Council, nine persons were inducted into office as County Council members to provide supervision and oversight on funds allocated for county development. Those inducted into office included women, youth chiefs, elders, and persons living with a disability.

Citizen-driven projects have been a major concern for ordinary citizens in the county, including, the media, and local and national civil society organizations.  During the 7th County Sitting in Rivercess County, US$141,000.00 was allotted to the reconstruction of Commissioners’ compounds. Also, earlier this year, the County Received US$636,385.08 or L$99,267,074.81 as County Social Development fund (CSDF) arrears. Of that amount, over 51% (i.e. $327,041.08 ) was allocated to building, renovating, and reconstructing commissioner’s offices, and superintendent residences, and purchasing motorbikes for county officials.  Thankfully, the July 2023 allotment has prioritized citizens to a larger extent.

During the just-ended July 2023 Special County  Development Council Sitting for the appropriation of  US$ 200,000.00 received from the government as the 2023 County. 

Development Fund(CDF), the county allocated US$ 31,500.00 to construct an Elementary and Junior High School in Samgbalor Administrative District,  US$ 29,800.00 for the construction of an Operational Theater at the Boegeezay Health Center in Morweh Statutory District, and US$ 28,000.00 for the construction of players and referees dressing rooms and Bathrooms at Darsaw Town Sports Pitch. Also, US$ 4,500 was allocated for the completion of the Darsaw Town Elementary School Annex in Zarflahn Administrative District. Delegates also allocated US$ 21,500 to rehabilitate the 44-kilometer road from Yarpah Town to Garpu Town and US$ 7,000.00 was allotted for the Renovation of the Gblorseo Town Community Clinic in Nywoine Administrative District.  

In Central River Cess Administrative District, the county allotted US$ 5,000.00 for the replacement of the entire roof of the Zammine Town Elementary School. In addition to education, delegates allotted US$ 3,000 to subsidize the River Cess University Student Union (RUSU) tuition and US$ 2,500 as a stipend for volunteer teachers at the Cestos High School. Basic infrastructure received US$ 134,400.00, constituting 67.2%, and subsidy provided to over seven institutions and local administration was allotted US$ 36,800 thus, constituting 18.4%. While US$ 180,000 was allocated for activities and projects, US$ 5,300 was for liability, and US$ 20,000 was for Administrative and Operational Costs. Also, in compliance with the Local Government Act 2018, a County Council sitting was held and nine persons were sworn into office to supervise and provide oversight on developments in the county.

As part of efforts to curb abuse and mismanagement of public resources, and ensure accountability and impact-driven citizens-led development in the county, members of the council were selected from diverse sectors in the county including, the youth, women, persons living with disability, women, chief and Elder.

As a leading civil society voice promoting transparency and accountability in Liberia, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) was represented at the sitting in a bid to contribute to the promotion of transparency and the equal participation of citizens of diverse backgrounds. Through its Open Expenditure Initiative (OEI) activities, CENTAL has educated and trained county officials and ordinary citizens about development funds and encouraged them to ensure transparency, accountability, and citizens’ equal participation in all implementation.

Citizens Accuse Health Facility of Charging Higher Fees for Newborn Boys

By: Akiah P. Glay Dormoh

In Grand Bassa County, the Gorblee Health Center, a government hospital stands accused of charging fees according to the sex of a newborn child. It is well-known that resources allotted to hospitals are stretched thin. Nonetheless, the disparity in fee payment has considerably raised eyebrows.

In Gaye Peter Town, Compound #3, Grand Bassa County, citizens did not only accuse the facility of charging excessively when pregnant women go to the hospital to give birth, they also laid a charge that the amount the facility collects after the delivery of a boy differs from that which is charged for the delivery of a girl. Citizens have told CENTAL that Five Thousand Liberian Dollars (L$ 5,000) is charged as fees for a girl child born at the facility and Seven Thousand Liberian Dollars (L$7,000) is charged for a newborn boy.  Speaking with CENTAL’s Open Expenditure Initiative team members, Madam Victoria (not her real name) who occupies a key position in the community alluded to the impact of the situation. “I have three children, two boys, and a girl. I was told to pay L$4,000 for my daughter and L$7,000 for my sons. I begged and paid 4,500 and 6,500 each. This has made me stop giving birth because I don’t have that kind of money to pay every time,” she said. Several other citizens confirmed the allegation, including prominent and eminent citizens in the community.

Meanwhile, Madam Lydia Kanneh, Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the health center, denied the allegations. “The minimum amount charged at the hospital is 2,500 and this is cut across, whether male or female. Unless in extreme cases, then more than that will be required. Otherwise, the aforementioned amount is constant,” Madam Kanneh noted. According to her, the purpose of such a fee is to buy hospital materials and compensate midwives who serve as Community Health Providers. In 2016, the government and its partner launched a National Health Assistant Program that ensured traditional midwives were trained to serve and provide assistance to pregnant women living five kilometers or further from a health facility before referrer to a  hospital.  This remedy emerged due to the high maternal mortality rate observed in the country.  The most alarming thing is that pregnant women are charged to access public health facilities that the National Health Policy deemed free.

The 2011-2021 National Health Policy plan[i] mandates free health services for pregnant women. According to the policy, even low fees could deter health-seeking behavior. Therefore, to encourage the uptake of priority services by all people, there should be no fee attached. Imagine if a pregnant woman comes to give birth and doesn’t have money, what will be the outcome? Even as Liberia encourages hospital deliveries to lower newborn maternal death rates, the policy has the opposite impact. Liberia has one of the highest rates of death for newborns in the world.  According to UNICEF, 76 of 1,000 births. The maternal mortality rate from the 2019-2020 Country Health[ii] Survey indicates  93 deaths per 1,000 live births in the 5 years in Liberia preceding the survey, while child mortality was 33 deaths per 1,000 live births and infant mortality is  63 deaths per 1,000 live births. this situation cannot be unique to the Gorblee health center, but other centers in Liberia alike; For instance, FrontPage Africa Reported in 2020 that the acting administrator of Phebe[iii] Hospital warned that patients, who require surgery and emergency services would be made to pay for the cost of fuel. This, according to Rev. Victor Padmore, would help sustain the services at the hospital. Though the policy indicates free, but citizens have always either brought their own supplies or paid some fees. Viola Makor, a  resident midwife at the Link Maternal Waiting Home and the reproductive health supervisor for Suakoko District in Bong County attested when she spoke with Yassah Levelah, the CEO of Comfort Closet that many[iv] women in the community shy away from hospitals because of the demand from the hospitals. For the policy to impact the general public, one of the primary concentrations of the government should be to prioritize health, including ensuring information about healthcare prices is clear and accessible to the public together with increasing healthcare workers’ salaries. 

[i] http://moh.gov.lr/wp-content/uploads/National-Health-Policy-Plan-MOH-2011-2021.pdf

[ii]  Libera Demographic and Health Survey 2019-20  

[iii] https://frontpageafricaonline.com/health/liberia-stranded-phebe-hospital-charging-patients-for-fuel-fee-before-treatment/

[iv] https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/10/15/1126110420/giving-birth-in-liberia-you-might-need-to-bring-your-own-bleach-to-get-in-a-hosp

John Doe ‘Liberia Stranded Phebe Hospital’ (2022) Frontpage Africa < https://frontpageafricaonline.com/health/liberia-stranded-phebe-hospital-charging-patients-for-fuel-fee-before-treatmen  t/> accessed 5 June 2023.

Commitments and Cautions: CENTAL Gathers Feedback from Citizens During Awareness Around New Corruption Reporting App in Liberia

In the fight against corruption, all hands are needed on deck. And this is why, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), through the Ant- Corruption Innovative Initiative, is harnessing the collective energy of ordinary citizens, who feel the most pinch of corruption to report anonymously any act of corruption. The initiative is being supported by the government and people of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) via the United Nations Development Program (UNDP),

“We will do our best to use the app to report corruption when we see it. We will not close our mouths when we see corruption” said Eric Dunn, a resident of Wyne community, Harlandsville, Grand Bassa County, during an engagement meeting.  Under the initiative, a mobile application called ‘TALKAY’ has been developed to provide citizens the platform to report corruption allegations anywhere in Liberia without disclosing their identities.

It is a red, white, and blue-colored mobile application that allows citizens to send reports of corruption to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in real-time. The LACC then investigates the report and takes appropriate action.


In Grand Bassa County, during an engagement with students at the Salvation Army Dorathy Knightley School, Atty. Bendu Kpoto, CENTAL’s Legal Officer explained that corruption comes in different shapes and forms including misuse of entrusted powers for personal gains. With a specific focus on the effects of corruption, Jerryline T. Wonde, CENTAL’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, lectured a cross-section of street vendors in the City of Buchannan on how corruption destroys the future of young people and denies them opportunities for growth. And Siafa S. Kamara, of the Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (ALAC), advised against soliciting bribes.

“One of the surest ways to succeed in the fight against corruption is to address the salary disparities in the civil service”, said Johnson William, head of the Police Detachment of Grand Bassa County at an engagement meeting held at his office. Also, Daniel Willie, Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs, applauded the initiative and expressed his commitment to help spread the word. He warned that despite the fact that the app is one of the best ways to reduce corruption, its success in the public sector will be reliant on political will and commitments from higher-ups in government.

For his part, Jerry E. Brooks, Mayor of St. John City blamed the pervasiveness of corruption on inadequate budgetary support to critical organs of the government including the City of St. John. He admonished CENTAL to include Advocacy for increased support to key government agencies in future programs. “When incentives are given, corruption will be minimized”, he stated.

If the views espoused by stakeholders including Mayor Brooks, Police Commander Williams, and Assistant Superintendent Willie are anything to go by, the war against corruption will be won when public service is adequately incentivized. And that the national budget working for few members of the legislature, as contained in CENTAL’s budget paper, and leaving the vast majority of the citizenry to stay in poverty and neglect must be a thing of the past.

By:  Torwon F. Gensee

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has assured residents of Grand Bassa County that blowing the whistle on corruption is one key way to stop it. LACC engaged citizens during an anti-corruption forum organized by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), under the Anti-Corruption Innovation Initiative project on April 28, 2023. The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

During the event, Cllr. Jerry D.K. Garlawolu, Program Manager and Chief Prosecutor of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) began by explaining the mandate and functions of the LACC as a lead anti-graft institution in Liberia.  In addition,  he delivered a presentation on the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Acts as well as the mandate of the LACC. Not only did the presentation give participants an understanding of the mandate of the LACC; it enlightened them on the different laws that exist to make corruption reporting a less risky adventure.  

The one-day event brought citizens together citizens, the media, CSOs, Local County Officials, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), and other stakeholders. It was aimed at engaging with stakeholders on the effectiveness of the Talkay platform and citizens’ willingness to use it for reporting and tracking corruption-related cases. TALKAY is an e-platform - that encourages citizens to report corruption-related cases without uncovering their identities.

Corruption affects every sector of society; it erodes the citizens’ trust in their government while at the same time stalling national growth and development. Within the Liberian society, the presence of corruption is nothing strange; it takes the lion’s share of the reasons why the country is still notably lacking behind - when it comes to growth and development despite having abundant natural resources.

And one sector that has borne the brunt of corruption is education.  Mr. Nathaniel Cisco, the County Education Officer of Grand Bassa, stated at the forum. Cisco lamented corruption within the educational sector. According to him, one of the ways the Ministry of Education is spreading anti-corruption messages in schools is to develop textbooks that contain anti-graft lessons. “As a way of helping to spread anti-corruption messages in schools, the government through the Ministry of Education is developing textbooks for six graders; those textbooks contain anti-corruption lessons,” said Cisco.

One of the hindrances to having citizens report corrupt practices has been the lack of adequate protection for whistleblowers. However, after attending the forum, the participants now understand that with the introduction of the Talkay platform, one can now report allegations of corruption without revealing their identity. “At first, we were afraid to report corruption because we feared that the accused would come running after us, but now that we have this Talkay Platform that allows us to report without anyone seeing us, we will use it to report whenever and wherever we see acts of corruption happen,” said the Alternative Education Supervisor/NGO Focal Person of Grand Bassa, Mr. J. Mayoud Toure.

Additionally,  King Brown, a reporter at Magic FM, acknowledged the importance of the e-platform. According to him, they will now not only discuss the issue of corruption on the radio. Still, they will also use the Talkay platform to rally against individuals involved with corrupt practices. “The media has a key role to play in tackling corruption. We are thankful for this platform; it will enable us to take a step beyond just talking about it on the radio and start to report,” Mr. Brown indicated.

The fight against corruption is everyone’s business because the end product will benefit every member of society. Winning this war will lead to improved public service delivery and a nation whose leaders lead accountably with integrity and transparency. However, to achieve this, the citizens must jointly take ownership of the fight. In a closing remark,  Executive Director of the LACC, Moses Kowo,  urged participants: “Let us take ownership of the fight against corruption; this country cannot remain like this. Let this serve - as a wake-up call to ensure corrupt individuals are held accountable. Let us ensure that the monies that come to the counties do not end up in the pockets of corrupt individuals. We cannot eradicate corruption instantly; similarly, we cannot make it a way of life.”


By Dr. Akiah P. Glay Dormoh

In Liberia, there is a famous adage that says “Anything a man can do, a woman can do even better”. This adage was manifest in the 2005 general and presidential elections when, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, took the helm of the Liberian Presidency and became the first woman to be elected as an African head of state after an electoral process dominated by male candidates.

Although it wasn’t all rosy for the ‘iron lady’, as she was often referred to, especially taking over a country with a dysfunctional infrastructure, system, and checkered international image, she rallied support and repositioned Liberia as a respectable member of the international community.   If there is a lesson to be learned from Liberia’s experiment of women’s leadership, it is that women have what it takes to deliver the kind of transformative leadership a country need. 


Women play a critical role in the body politics of Liberia. This is so because the 2022 census result indicates that the total population of Liberia is 5.2 million (5,248.621)[1]. Out of the total population, 50.4% (2,644,450) are male and 49.6% (2,604,171) are female, which means, the ratio between male and female population is at 5 percent. Considering the margin, the need for equal participation cannot be more emphasized. Equal participation overall is much needed in Liberia because it breeds a more shared economy and enhances development and also alleviates poverty, especially among the most marginalized group (the women precisely). Women as they are the most vulnerable groups.

The national and local governments can support women’s political participation in multiple ways, but firstly, they need to consider specific measures that will overcome barriers of gender discrimination; especially, specific gaps in capacities or resources that prevent women from competing effectively.

And the fact that Liberia has gained great recognition as being the first nation to elect a female president and in the 2017 election, elected a female vice president. This could have set the pace for more women’s involvement in politics. However, women’s representation remains low in most institutions in Liberia. Whether in private or public institutions, it is largely dominated by males.  Currently, women occupied 11% of the 103 seat[2]s in the National Legislature, 20% of managerial positions in public institutions, and 20.1% of senior and middle managerial positions in the government. Liberia ranked 156th of 162 countries[3] on the Gender Inequality Index and 94 on the Global Gender Gap. The aforementioned statistic shows a crisis of under-representation of women in the public sphere in Liberia given that women and girls make up close to 50% of the total[4] population. Without affirmative action legislation, and enforcement mechanisms structured to help address women’s participation in elections, Liberia’s democratic, development, and equality goals will not be achieved.

Biases Against Women Politicians

There are various reasons for the under-representation of women in political institutions. Stereotyping, or assigning characteristics to political leaders of a certain group is considered one of the many factors. For instance, females are seen as kind, mothers, warm and compassionate, whereas males are typically viewed as assertive, tough, and competent. Although the extent to which these stereotypes help or hurt female candidates electorally is debatable. Perhaps, they could indicate that women are often not considered ‘leadership material’. Particularly, voters tend to show a preference for stereotypically[5] masculine traits over feminine characteristics when determining who should hold high office.  Secondly, even when women are brave enough to enter politics, female politicians face a paradoxical challenge. Here are classic examples, In 2019, Ms. Telia Urey ran for the District 15 Representative seat but was faced with several forms of discrimination.  Again, Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine's intention to[6] run in the 2023 Representative election in Grand Bassa County has begun to alarm death threats. Long before now, her excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf testified of being victimized throughout her political career.  True be told, gender equality contributes immensely to speedy growth and development. It is about time Liberians think deeply to equalize the margin between males and females. The mechanism to have an equitable society should be at the peak of all political parties and the government. Though gender biases cannot be eliminated overnight, concrete actions can be taken toward eliminating all forms of gender biases. Before effective changes can be made, it is imperative to recognize how power is structured in electoral institutions, political parties, the media, and in our everyday lives but we have a way forward through legislation.

Legal Framework that can set the Pace for more affirmative actions in the 2023 Election

Article 5 of the 1986[7] Constitution of Liberia makes provisions for the national unity of Liberians into one body politic and for the enactment of laws encouraging the participation of all citizens in government including women and men. Also, national policies have been adopted to address different aspects of women’s political participation and representation such as the National Gender Policy (2018-2022)[8] that commits to promoting gender parity in all spheres of governance, the affirmative action policy, and legislation for women’s participation, and the National Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) (2018-2023). Specifically, Pillar One: Power to the People seeks to emphasize the political participation of women at the national and local levels to reach a target of 30% by 2023. Internationally, Liberia has adopted a range of regional and international legal frameworks on the advancement of women’s political and civic rights at local and national levels, including ratification of the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol; adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; and ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol). These frameworks provide a perfect reason for vigorous affirmative action especially when taking into account the  2005 gender quota [9]that mandates political parties or coalitions to endeavor and ensure that the governing body and its list of candidates have no less than 30% of its member from each gender. 


Meaningful participation of women in politics and decision-making brings different perspectives and experiences to addressing national problems. In order to address many different issues women and men are faced with, equal representation is required. Liberia will not be able to meet the myriad of development challenges it faces if women are not at the decision-making table. UN Women Executive Director [10] Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, seeing the need for equality in politics commented on the 2021 Women in Politics data and said “No country prospers without the engagement of women. We need women’s representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic, and political situations. we still need bold decisive action across the world to bring women into the heart of decision-making spaces in large numbers and as full partners. There’s no doubt this can and should be done. It should be done now.”

To conclude, now is the time to take action against stereotyping and promote gender equality in all political parties across the country, especially during the formulation of political parties’ leadership.


[1] https://liberia.un.org/en/220493-liberia-announces-provisional-results-its-5th-national-population-and-housing-census

[2] Country Fact Sheet | UN Women Data Hub

[3] Liberia (unwomen.org)

[4] Liberia announces provisional results of its 5th National Population and Housing Census | United Nations in Liberia

[5] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2041905819838147

[6] Charlyne Brumskine alarms death threat - Liberia news The New Dawn Liberia, premier resource for latest news

[7] Liberia 1986 Constitution - Constitute (constituteproject.org)

[8] The Liberia National Gender Policy (fao.org)

[9] Liberia: Amended electoral laws (2014) — (aceproject.org)

[10] https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2021/3/press-release-women-in-politics-new-data-shows-growth-but-also-setbacks


Monrovia, Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen of the Press.

This Week marks another important period in Liberia’s history in terms of speaking truth to power and advocacy for good governance, accountability, and transparency in society, especially in government/public service. We have reassembled in this space to civilly and constructively discuss matters bordering on the economic and political governance of Liberia. We are doing so with the level of cordiality, sincerity, robustness, and passion required to speak truth to power and seek redress to trending and ever-present critical national issues, Corruption being a leading one. The media has been a critical partner and a mainstay in Liberia’s Democracy. Thank you for all that you do for Liberia and Liberians, especially the many hundreds of thousands of people out there who are basically surviving/struggling to live due to successive poor and corrupt national leadership in Liberia.

The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) welcomes the recent statement of the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy on the state of decentralization and how the national budget has been manipulated to serve the interests of those who control power.

There can be no better affirmation of recent reports issued by CENTAL detailing how the national budget is being used as a tool for corruption and how decentralization has been reduced to a political token rather than a deliberate effort to devolve power and resources from the central level in Monrovia to counties and communities on the periphery. Indeed, not only does the Ambassador’s statement reflect courage, it transcends any actual or perceived diplomatic boundaries for the good of the Liberian people. We see that the disservice meted out against the Liberian people by their own leaders is so great that it cannot be overlooked by our international partners, Ambassador McCarthy in this instant case. Surely, the American engages as a true Liberian patriot and campaigner for good governance and true decentralization. Even as corruption brazenly has its way, Ambassador McCarthy faces the odds and speaks truth to power. The question is: when will we, Liberians, engage our democracy and governance as true patriots wanting the best for the country and its people? When will leaders truly lead, selflessly, accountably, and transparently? And when will citizens satisfactorily live up to their civic duties?

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, in January of this year, CENTAL shared the results of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2022 released by Transparency International. There is a further decline in Liberia’s score on the index from 29 in 2021 to 26 in 2022, an unfortunate 15-point decline since the score of 41 in 2012. This is corroborated by CENTAL 2022 State of Corruption Report (SCORE 2022), which reveals that 90% of Liberians think the Corruption level is high in the county, with declining confidence in the executive branch of government to fight against corruption, from 30% to 26%. Findings of the US Ambassador’s recent trips to the counties, as contained in his recent statement to the public shed further light on how corruption continues to deprive Liberians of access to crucial services, as a few Monrovia-based power brokers binge on public funds with no pricking of conscience. And while the Ambassador identified county-level challenges, it is important to note that ‘ghost allocations’ are not only akin to entities in the counties. Spending entities in Monrovia have themselves complained that in addition to budgetary allocations not covering essential activities and operations, they are hardly received in full.

Our budget paper released last month entitled: ‘Making the Budget Work’ goes at length to lay bare the problems with our budget process and how addressing them is critical, if the budget must truly work for the people.  Key themes covered include public participation, overspending, failure to report, budget corruption, misplaced priorities, decentralization, etc.

For example, we identified seven (7) spending entities that spent more than what was allocated in the 2022 national budget. Over $35,810,406 was spent without legislative approval. Unapproved spending does not only raise questions of diligence applied during budget preparation, it also fuels suspicions of corruption. Since public expenditures must meet legislative approval through the budget, spending in excess of amounts approved by the Legislature raises significant concerns. This is coupled with the fact that contrary to law, reports on how budgetary allocations are used are not available, thereby making it difficult to follow public spending. Regarding decentralization, we highlighted that the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) continues to get the lion’s share of allocations to political sub-divisions. While counties receive a meager $219,333 in 2022, the MCC received $7,501,678 in direct budgetary allocation and through the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP). The Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) received $2,249,23. These cities receive astronomically more than entire counties, raising questions about how decentralization is expected to work.

Members of the Press, on budget corruption, our report indicated that public officials continue to use the national budget to their own advantage. For example, the E&J Hospital in Ganta, Nimba County was built and owned by Senator Jeremiah Koung. Senator Koung has claimed that the facility has been turned over to the government, but no documents have been disclosed in this regard. As a private business, E&J received close to $1 million United States Dollars through the national budget. Besides, the African Dream Clinic, owned by Representative Samuel Enders has benefitted US$95,000 from the national budget through subsidy. The fact that a lawmaker’s clinic is included in the national budget, in the midst of limited support to government-owned hospitals and clinics speaks volumes. In 2021 and 2022, $3.6 million was allocated each year for 'legislative engagement' amid public outcry. The amounts were distributed to each lawmaker in portions of $30,000 per year. The recent outcry against Representative Marvin Cole regarding the diversion of funds meant for a clinic in Gbondoi Town in Bong County is another example.

CENTAL is deeply concerned about the perennially mindboggling neglect of the citizens by their elected and appointed national leaders. This extremely unfortunate development has to stop, if the people must truly and measurably benefit from the resources and other assets of the country. We call on national leaders, especially the President and Lawmakers to forge collaborations that placed citizens at the center of their engagements and decisions and not otherwise. In part, they should make the national budget Work for the people by adequately funding educational, medical, agricultural and other agencies and institutions directly serving the needs of the public.

We wish to conclude with the following recommendations, which if fully implemented will help to make the national budget and other resources work for the people.

  1. The Liberian Government should reduce funding to the President, Vice President, Speaker, and other high political offices and redirect those resources to activities and programs in health, education, and other sectors that will directly benefit citizens.
  2. The Liberian Legislature should be robust in performing its duties. Although highly disappointing in its performance, the Legislature still remains the Agency of Government responsible to provide the necessary oversight in safeguarding public resources and assets. It should do so if it must be regarded as truly representing the people and not itself.
  3. We applaud development partners for their tireless support in strengthening democracy and accountability cultures in Liberia and urge them to continue doing so, at an even greater scale. A blended support and engagement that sees development partners not only providing financial and technical support to civil society, government, and other institutions but also openly commending and criticizing major developments in Liberia is welcomed and or is pursued.
  4. We admonish civil society and the media to increase and diversify their engagements to educate the public, checkmate the national government as well as monitor and report on the development and implementation of the national budget and other key national policies and documents.
  5. Public Integrity Institutions such as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission should be adequately funded and robust in their engagements and performance of their duties. For example, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission should enforce laws on Asset Declaration and ensure timely investigation and prosecution of corruption cases.
  6. Finally, as Liberians, we have a greater responsibility to ensure that our leaders are held accountable. Development partners cannot do for us what we ought to do for ourselves. Therefore, Liberians should stand up and demand accountability from their leaders at all times. As the October elections draw near, let us summon the courage to engage all those seeking our votes for their visions and practical actions in dealing with corruption and making our resources work for all.

Thank you.


Anderson Miamen

Executive Director


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22nd Street, Sinkor
Tubman Boulevard
Monrovia, Liberia
Phone: +231 88 681 8855
Email: info@cental.org.lr
Website: www.cental.org.lr 



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