5 MFDP Officials Invited by Ministry of Justice

For ‘conference’ on PSDI loan scheme

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By Alvin Worzi

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has invited five past and present officials of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) regarding the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) loan scheme.

The ministry named Amos Z. Korkor, coordinator of the PSDI; Romell Watson, former Assistant Minister for Administration; William Mansfield, director of the Public Administration Sector, Budget Planning; Theophilus Addy, Assistant Minister for Regional and Sectoral Planning; and Zianab K. Dukuly, assistant director of Budget and Finance and an immediate relative of former MFDP Minister Amara M. Konneh.

“This is the initial step in this investigation, so the ministry is requesting the implicated officials who are of interest and who allegedly received various amounts under the PSDI program to report to the ministry on Friday, June 30, at 10 a. m. for a conference,” the ministry said.

The PSDI is a project established in 2014 at the MFDP to provide loans to Liberian-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The process would have created jobs and accelerated the participation of Liberian-owned businesses in the economy.

The ministry said it is now reviewing the final audit report to determine the culpability of each official named in the loan saga.

Meanwhile, an earlier leaked draft audit report alleged that from 2014 to 2016, the project disbursed US$2,274,400 to 46 borrowers, and that Dr. James F. Kollie, former Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at the MFDP, signed all the loan approvals.

Out of the forty-six (46) borrowers, only Garson Incorporated, located on 11th Street, Sinkor, believed to be owned by Dr. James Kollie, paid its obligation of US$150,000 plus US$10,500 interest, amounting to a total repayment of US$160,500. Garson Incorporated’s account statement revealed that the institution has only a US$11 obligation outstanding.

24 borrowers allegedly received cash loans amounting to US$965,400 but are yet to make any repayment as per the arrangement. An additional 12 businesses received US$545,700, but none could be located anywhere in Liberia, and the telephone contacts of the individuals who owned these businesses were permanently switched off.

The draft audit report revealed that in May 2014, MFDP entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to establish an account (GE Fund) through which the borrowers would receive their loans.

The draft report also established that there was an MOU reached between MFDP and LBDI to run the PSDI loan activities together; however, customers’ evaluation/vetting were done by the MFDP.

However, the evaluation/vetting conducted by MFDP-PSDI desk provided many loopholes for default, the draft audit said, adding that loans were disbursed to either businesses owned by MFDP staff, or businesses with which they had close connections.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Liberians, we complained about other nationals; Nigerians, Ghanaians, Sierra Leoneans, etc. being crooks, but if these attitudes by Liberians who filled out false information of owning business, given wrong telephone numbers or switching the numbers to cover up are not similar to what you accused other nationals, then I’m not sure what being a crook mean. We blame the government for everything, yes, but tell me what a dishonest people we’re….We should be concern about our country because we saw during the Civil War where fellow Liberians joined in the killings of their fellow citizens simply because they don’t speak the language they speak, they’re not from the same region of the country, they appeared to me more wealthy than others from different regions of the country.

    We claimed to be religious people (Muslims, Christians, etc.), but if what’s preached is practice, we’ll not be committing all of these crimes. On Sundays, most businesses are closed in observant of the Sabbath and on Fridays, some of the streets are blocked by men & women bending in supplication to Allah. Where is what we preached in both Christendom and Muslimdoms practice in our daily lives both in the public and private sector? It is a shame that a simple task designed by government to help its citizens handle by Liberians is misapplied at the disadvantage of those its intend to help? How we treat our fellow citizens like fools and just consider them to be objects or statistics of abstract numbers?

    The loans program clearly designed with good intentions, but again Liberians put in charge to administer these loans failed not only the government, but fellow Liberians. Where is our patriotism as a people? Do we love our fellow citizens (men) as is preached in the gospel or we only care about “us”? There’s a way to earn a honest living and most Liberians are doing that by either tilling the soil, engaging in trades that are laborious, but realizing that there’s dignity in Labor, finding a job that pay decent wage, but laboring honestly so that when you’re paid, you know you honest worked for your pay check.

    Working in government shouldn’t be seen as a quick way to get rich, but you’re offering for a service to your fellow Liberians and country. Public servants like teaching is not a career area where you think you can get rich quick by robbing the vulnerable you served. It is about serving your people so that when you performed your service, you want to see results that ultimately show an impact or the people, the communities and country you served.

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