The Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Samuel D. Tweah has admitted to the prevalence of technical gap among the staffs.
Tweah made the observation on Tuesday, July 3, in a remark he made during dedication of a computer lab for the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center at the ministry.
He said a lot of time has been devoted to capacity-building in times past, yet the gap persists.
Minister Tweah said it is important that the staffs would be able to collect data and analyze them. He said under his watch he would ensure that the staffs use the newly-dedicated lab efficiently to gather and analyze information and statistical data the ministry needs.
He said he will only know the staffs have the capacity when they can analyze information and interpret comprehensively statistical analysis he might need in 24 hours.
“In this government capacity-building will still be a point to look out for, because capacity gap is still facing us as a government. There is a need to build the capacity gap of a country, and this is why the Ministry of Education sends people out to different countries to learn, because it is essential to develop the country’s human resource capital,” Minister Tweah said.
He wants Liberians to be competitive, because there is no way they can compete with others when they cannot analyze complicated or even a common analytical problem.
Min. Tweh’s concern insinuated that many of the staffs lack knowledge of report writing, “and so they use software, including Excel that is mainly used in financial work.”
Tweah added that if a staff cannot write a comprehensive report or analyze statistics that their minister and/or deputy can understand, then there is a problem.
“I hope that the staffs who will be benefiting from this lab will take it seriously, because we do not want the computers to just be there without efficient use to meet the goal for which they were donated,” Minister Tweah said.
He used the occasion to urge members of the staffs in the Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center to be proactive and acquire knowledge in working with the software associated with their job, if any of them is required to fill a gap created by conditions of illness or work related issues.
Minister Tweah also said that revenue forecast has been mixed many times in the country, and as the president and the economic management team are finding solutions to the problems of exchange rate and other economic issues affecting the country, staffs of the MFDP need to play their role in economic analysis by collecting data, analyzing and interpreting them.
The newly dedicated computer lab is a projected funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). It is not clear how much the ACBF spent to provide preliminary training and the computers, but the Executive Director of Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center, Del-Francis Wreh said ACBF was instrumental in setting up the lab based on the need it saw to equip staffs in the LIMPAC section.
Mr. Wreh said following discussion with the ACBF, it realized that in order to forecast the economy of the country, the MFDP must be in full gear of forecasting it.
He said ACBF funded two studies; one being an assessment impact of UNMIL drawdown and then domestic revenue mobilization.
The lab, Wreh said, will be used to train staffs of various departments of the ministry in data collection, analysis and the use of statistical software to do modeling.
The lab contains 12 laptops and a projector board. A long schedule is also being placed on the board outlining courses including MS-Word and Excel for staff to learn.