The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has admonished Liberians, especially public officials that Liberia is still a fragile state and corrupt practices that accrue illicit wealth for the select few in government do not represent the reforms that Liberians envisage.
In a press release signed by Acting Executive Director Anderson Miamen, CENTAL recommended that the government give serious consideration to the General Auditing Commission, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and other anti-graft institutions to address impunity and minimize incidences of corruption in the country.
He said the much awaited Fast Track Anti-Corruption Court must be established and with no lip service support to speedily investigate and adjudicate corruption cases.
“Undoubtedly, this will boost the country’s anti corruption and reform efforts and lead to the achievement of much desired progress,” he said.
CENTAL is the local chapter of Transparency International (TI). In its 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking 168 countries/territories compared to 175 in 2014, the vast majority of 87% of countries surveyed scored below 50, on a scale of 0, perceived to be highly corrupt, to 100, perceived to be highly clean or transparent, the release said.
The result also shows that more than 6 billion plus persons live in countries with serious corruption problems, highlighting the compelling need for public institutions to be more transparent and accountable in their operations and actions, CENTAL said.
The release also stated that Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone are among the least performers and that Liberia’s progress against corruption remains slow and unsatisfactory.
“The country continues to struggle with its anti-corruption fight, evident by zero improvement in its previous 2014 score; in fact, the country experienced decline from 41/100 in 2012 to 37/100 in 2014 and 2015 respectively,” the released said.
The current report places Liberia among countries perceived as having serious corruption problems, ranking higher (83/168) than its immediate neighbors Guinea (139/168), Sierra Leone (119/168) and Ivory Coast (107/168).
According to the release, while ground breaking anti corruption policies and legislations have been introduced and key integrity institutions established over the last few years, implementation of these instruments remain largely ineffective.
Moreover, moral, financial and logistical supports to these integrity institutions are largely disappointing; as a result, alleged corrupt individuals still go unpunished, with the public perceiving corruption to be on the rise locally (based on Transparency International’s recent Global Corruption Barometer report).