The head of Liberia’s Financial Intelligence Unit has welcomed President George Weah’s “Pro-Poor Agenda,” aimed at reducing poverty.
According to Alex Cuffy, “pro-poor policy,” used in development circles directly targeting the poor through the provision of social services such as road networks and electricity.
Cuffy admitted that it will take time for government to deliver on its promises, having inherited a broken economy with low revenue generation, growing expenditure, budget shortfalls, high exchange and interest rates and inflation.
Articulating the agenda from an anti-corruption perspective, Cuffy believes government will find the money to cater for its people once it deals with the menace.
“There must be strong leadership. Everything starts with the head. And the head of this country is the president. And also the heads of most institutions are the officials. It starts with them. If they don’t engender proper leadership, we are going nowhere.
“If they don’t have good leadership qualities and make sure their leadership qualities go throughout the organization and throughout this country, we will have a problem. If you have a leadership that, throughout the day what they do is bad things, everybody under you wants to do bad things,” Cuffy stressed.
Delivering the keynote address at the Richard Hunter High School Student Council government recently, Cuffy said Liberia has some of the best laws, regulations, policies and systems, which it must uncompromisingly implement.
“Every day we hear about corruption in the homes, schools, churches, government and even in the streets. But how do we solve this problem? Leadership! It starts from the head, the president and officials; legislature and the people.
“Therefore to achieve the “pro-poor agenda”, the president must be strong against corruption. He must engender sincerity in the officials and people. He must enforce laws and regulations and must ensure people follow policies. He must ensure people are punished equitably for wrong doings. This will be the beginning of a successful “pro-poor agenda,” Cuffy added.
Cuffy has overseen the completion, passage, approval and publication of a Firearm and Ammunition Act of Liberia 2015 and an Anti-Terrorism Act of 2016.
Through his leadership, Liberia is a recognized member of GIABA, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa.
GIABA is a specialized institution of Ecowas responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures.
Cuffy was one of two Liberians, who worked for the Governance Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP), a partnership between the government and international community to promote accountability and transparency in fiscal and financial management to enable Liberia to use its resources in the interests of its citizens. At GEMAP, Cuffy served as financial controller.
Implemented from 2006-2010, the program was overseen by an Economic Governance Steering Committee, co-chaired by the President of Liberia and the United States Ambassador to Liberia, and coordinated by a technical team composed of key government and international counterparts.