Finance Ministry Denies Any Wrong in Minister Tweah’s Travel

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Mr. Tweah: "FPA's story is far from the truth."

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has clarified that it has in no way violated the Revised Travel Ordinance of 2016/2017 on the Finance Minister’s official trip to China as reported in the Thursday, September 6, edition of the FrontPage Africa Newspaper under the caption “Liberia: ‘Pro-poor Gov’t Minister Pays US$16,000 to Upgrade from Business to First Class for Beijing.”

According to the Ministry’s Release, the purchase of the Minister’s ticket to Beijing, China was in accordance with the Government of Liberia Revised Travel Ordinance of 2016/2017, which changed the traveling class of Minister Samuel Tweah as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gbehzongar Findley from Economy to Business Class.

Economy class, also called coach class, is the lowest travel class of seating in air travel, while Business Class is a cabin designed to be conducive to business travelers or for very important persons, including high level government officials, providing facilities that can allow them to continue work during their flight. The step above business class is first class. 

In its press release, the ministry also clarified that officials or employees of government traveling on official government business abroad are free at their own will, and expense to upgrade their ticket with absolutely no financial burden to the government or on the tax payer.

Further, the ministry said it has no knowledge of the purported ticket published by FrontPage Africa that the paper claims belongs to Minister Tweah, and was purchased from Worldwide Air Service in Osu, Accra, Ghana, though it carries the Minister Tweha’s travel particulars.

However, the Finance Ministry has said that contrary to this alleged deliberate “falsehood” being peddled by the FrontPage Africa, the authentic ticket purchased by the Ministry for Minister Tweah’s trip to China was purchased from Jos Travels and Tours, Incorporated in Monrovia.

The Ministry also adds that contrary to the concerns raised by the newspaper’s story about adherence to the Procurement Policy, all procurement compliance requirements were met.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has added that under the stewardship of Minister Tweah, “the ministry will vigorously drive the Pro-poor Agenda of the government, and is committed to ensuring the upholding of financial standards, and regulations that guide against waste and abuse of public resources with the ultimate goal of effectively utilizing public resources in order to narrow the gap between the rich and poor.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I will believe you IF you produce a copy of the ticket and the cancelled check (or method of payment) from Jos Travels and Tours, Incorporated in Monrovia. If you don’t produce those documents, you’re a damn liar!!

    • DO NOT GIVE ANY CREDENCE TO Rodney Sieh/FPA´S YELLOW JOURNALISM AND TABLOID INFO!

      Despite the regulation of the ordinance viz the limitation or cealing on government´s expenditures on air tickets for officials of governmennt,there is no law, and there can be no law barring government officials from their choice of air tickets or class on any airline!

      Accordingly, the ordinance, policy, and practice, provide for the right to upgrade!

      That is, “If you (official of government) upgrade from a business class or something higher than the business class, the differential as a result of the upgrade is something that would be bored by yourself!

      Accordingly, what this phony Rodney Sieh and his fraudulent yellow journalism and tabloid FPA should be telling us or providing are the evidence,or proof, demonstrating that the minister or other government officials used government funds intead of their own funds to upgrade their class on the given airline! This is what an investigative journalism is. And not writing trash bäsed on personal vendetta and greed for increase sale of the print version of your newspaper.

      IN THE ABSENSE OF SUCH EVIDENCE, Rodney Sieh/FPA´story is mere yellow journalism, tabloid and a boredom!

    • Martin Scott instead of telling the minister: “IF you produce a copy of the ticket and the cancelled check (or method of payment) from Jos Travels and Tours, Incorporated in Monrovia. If you don’t produce those documents, you’re a damn liar” YOU SHOULD:

      (1) challenge the accuser Rodney Sieh/FPA to provide THE EVIDENCE substantiating his Rodney Sieh/FPA claim that:

      (2) the minister has upgraded his air ticket or air class on government or tax payers ´ funds! Once FPA/Rodney Sieh cannot provide such substantiations but only his eyecatching headline void of facts,, you should:

      (3) tell him Rodney Sieh or his reporter: “you’re a damn liar ”

      THIS IS WHAT AN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNLIST DOES, AND NOT JUST MAKE CLAIMS YOU CANNOT PROVE OR SUBSTANTIATE!

    • Jake, what FPA should be exhibiting or demonstrating if it calls itself an investigative news outlet, it should be producing evidence authenticating the minister using government funds to upgrade his (the minister´s) air class! Just making his silly and fraudulent claims void of proof or evidence based on his personal vendetta and his greed for increase sale of the print version of his news outlet is criminal!

    • Both in law and in morals, the one making his or her claims must provide his evidence or prove his or her case. Thus the saying the burden is on the accuser. FPA is the accuser here! And besides, in accordance with journalistic eiquettes and principles, it is the duty or the reporter to disseminate evidence viz his or her claims and not just throw out eyecatching headlines to sell his papers —exactly what Rodney Sieh and his FPA ARE ENGAGED IN –publishing stories void of facts and evidence. AND THEN HE CARELESSLY OR DECEPTIVELY CALLS THIS INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM.

  2. Some of the blame have to go the countries that continue to give financial help to Liberia only to see it wrongfully used and abused.Lord help Liberia cause the way that seems right to her is the way that is leading to death.

  3. The Ministry seems to be saying that it is only aware of purchasing a business class ticket for the Minister. If the ticket was upgraded to first class, it has no knowledge of nor anything to do with it. Fair enough. But the onus now falls on the Minister to clarify which class he flew in, provide proof of the ticket, and show proof of payment. Otherwise, the public has no choice but to believe the FPA report.

  4. Sad to see and read all these happenings unfolding in our country, when we are being told of pro-poor policies of today’s Liberia.The crux of the matter is we need a vibrant and honest leadership in this new government.
    It seems to be that most of these guys that are now masquerading the corridors of government are hungry people and abound for grabbing anything that comes their way. What a sympathy.
    The issue here is the government should give a turn around from those bad ways of governance and move this country forward. We need to stop corruption in any form be it little or big.
    In administration, a head of any given job or entity or the country as a whole is held accountable for any good or bad. Serving at your own volition and not serving above and beyond for the job given to achieve good end result, then you are unfit. We need to think and be very effective in serving the Liberian people.
    The minister first of all had no right to over spent and then state that he paid the extra amount from his own pocket. That trip is not his personal one and there was no need for him to commit the Liberian people money to such unlawful and wasteful spending. It is not about you Mr. Minister, but the Liberian people’s money being wastefully spent.
    Who in the world will spend their personal money for a government? Sir, your action was not a good one and you along with other public servants including the President must now start to think wisely in running the affairs of state for the common good of the Liberian people. The people are suffering. The living standards of the vast majority of the people are below poverty line. This is not good for the nation.
    I have a problem with slogan “Pro-Poor” it signifies that you people are doing the opposite. The interpretative meaning is making the Linerian people just another pattern of poor people than ever before. You have taken a bad slogan and this is some of the things that is helping to bring bad luck to this nation.
    How do you understand, explain and execute the slogan “Pro-poor” what a joke and play. Wake up from your slumber and do the Liberian people work. The people are suffering and life is hard for the common man in Liberia today.
    Talk the talk and walk the talk. Be creative and productive. These are the traits that we yearn to see from your leadership. God bless Liberia!

  5. Liberia is a country full of cowards. Nothing will happen to the minister. The president will never question this minister once he is receiving allowances while he is in China on time.This is a carton case. There are some ministers in this government that this President is afraid to question them. One of them is Minister of Finance.

  6. Dortu, how long are you going to continue defending the indefensible. It’s people like you that got Liberia so backward. Everything FPA published is regarded as yellow journalism but your mere empty verbiages does not in any shape or form disproves FPA story. It’s just sad that after all these years we continue to misplace our priorities.

  7. Mind you, these are the same lousy loud mouth rascals that criticized the previous government for doing these very things! People like this Samuel Tweah are demonstrating how criticism can be cheap and fashionable, but when given the opportunity to make a difference, those so-called critics turn out to be no better, sometimes even worst. And is it not even a violation of the Code of Conduct when anyone seeking business interest in Liberia bribes fiduciary elements to get the deal consummated? And bribery comes in many forms, not limited to cash only. And disappointingly our “Integrity Institutions” will hear of these monkey business going on and don’t feel obligated to investigate them? Of course, the excuse will be, “we can’t go investigating every rumors we hear or read about in the press, but there must be some of these “rumors” that exude more smoking guns than others and therefore worth the probing. Such pursuits will in fact definitely benefit the accused whose names would have been cleared, if the allegations/suspicion turn out to be false. Remember, beneath every smoke there is a fire!

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