‘Misinformation’ on Alleged L$16 Billion Inciting ‘Hatred’ Against Weah’s Government

6
3817
Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr.

Says Finance Minister Tweah

By the reckoning of Finance Minster Tweah, billions of Liberian dollars alleged to be missing is unfounded and can be accounted for, although the public appears to hold a different view. Such “misinformation” according to the Minister, which has been bandied in the media recently, is serving to incite feelings of antipathy towards the Weah government and thereby stirring conflict. The public has since been fed by officials of this government with varying accounts of the alleged missing billions.

Earlier, Information Minister Eugene Nagbe had disclosed to the public that 16 billion Liberian dollars (LRD), which was reported to have gone missing, had been printed and brought into the country and that the government had begun an investigation to determine the whereabouts of the “missing money.”

Minister Nagbe, quoting the investigation team comprising the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Liberia National Police (LNP) and other security agencies, said the team confirmed that a total of Liberian banknotes worth 15 to 16 billion LRD were printed and brought into the country.

Justice Minister Musa Dean also confirmed that “containers and bags of money allegedly arrived into the country between November 2017 and August 2018.”

He is quoted as having said that, “Evidence available to the investigation team established that the current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of monies into the country.”

A few days following these official statements, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah took to the airwaves, denying claims that containers or bags of money had gone missing in the country. He stressed that contrary to widely bandied speculations that the money was missing, the actual truth is no money is actually missing. He maintains that the so called missing money was actually infused into the economy and that everything can be accounted for by the Central Bank of Liberia

The Finance Minister however has been able to confirm that between 2016 and 2018, there was a flow of money into the country.

Minister Tweah, who appeared apparently irritated by media and other reports of L$9 to L$16 billion missing in the country, told the Daily Observer that the ongoing investigation is meant to establish whether or not monies brought from 2016 to 2018 were logged and properly accounted for; adding that it is only a forensic audit and that the investigation will establish the truth.

According to him, the government has detected that “some tampering was done on the money and it is predicted that about L$9 billion was tampered with.” However just who MFDP officials suspect of tampering with the money was not revealed.

The L$16 billion information currently bandied in the public, according to Minister Tweah, is, for unknown reasons, an imaginary figure peddled by from some unknown individual or individuals for unknown reasons. He has said, however that the $9 billion could have some magnitude of legitimacy because it is what the investigation started with.

The Minister, emphasizing that it is only verifiable information on which basis one can argue, especially concerning the L$9 billion, stressed that L$16 billion is unverifiable and cannot form the basis for an argument.

Minister Tweah insists that Liberians should give a chance to the investigation, since other key stakeholders, including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have been invited to help find out what has transpired concerning the alleged missing containers of money. He also disclosed that the investigating body is being expanded to include the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) amongst others.

On Friday, September 21, on the eve of his departure to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, President George Weah assured Liberians that his government is going to investigate the financial scandal and that anyone found culpable will be held to account for his/her action. His assurance was contained in a very short radio broadcast aired on Friday 21, September 2018.

In related developments, this newspaper has gathered that, notwithstanding assurances by President Weah that those found culpable will be held to account, a peaceful demonstration, according to sources is yet being planned by a consortium of about 26 civil society groups to be staged on Monday, September 24, in order to draw attention to their demands for accountability and to seek the support of the international community in their bid to have the Liberian government “bring back” their money.

Additionally, it has been reliably gathered that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have already arrived in country and have reportedly commenced their investigation. According to sources, at the primary issue of concern to the Feds is that of United States Dollars which, is being suspected, could be part of a money laundering operation possibly involving terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile a Liberian musician whose popular hit tune, “Bring Our Container Back”, which is being aired on various radio stations around the country has been released from detention. According to sources, the musician was arrested on account of his recent release but has since been released following a splurge of concern on social media platforms.  Unconfirmed reports say the musician was arrested for plying the streets on a motorcycle well after the Police designated 10 PM cutoff time for the operation of commercial motorcycles in the city.

Investigation continues!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s be cleared and sincere that musician A4 was not arrested for his music sang on the missing container saga but, was arrested for visiting President Weah rehab residence and rudely performing there as well.

  2. As the Liberian people would say, “Da dish-cloth on his ugly face or da what?” I am very sure Samuel Tweah knows something about the missing containers, or else, he would not have said that information concerning the money is “Fake News.” This ugly dude lied to the Liberian people by telling them that he was making $500,000 as a Senior Policy Advisor with the African development Bank in Abidjan, in defence of flying first class to China when he was only making $85,000 a year. Dude, that had no relevance, now heads the Finance Ministry without the professional practical experience. Anyway, when you have a President like JorWeah, any Zogo can rise up to a Ministerial job. I heard he’s not getting along with people at the Ministry of Finance due to his TOO KNOW attitude. From what I am seeing and hearing in Liberia, it looks like the Liberian people are serious about the missing money, and this too shall not pass.

  3. You got the anti-Weah motive right, Minister Tweah, but forgot the anti-equality of opportunities, hence anti-poor people aspect.

    Most elites – outside our current political and socio-economic power structures – are so accustomed to getting the lion share of national wealth that any idea of a Liberian President committing to empowering a vast majority that should remain ignorant and poor is not only anathema, but also a betrayal. And seemingly an offence punishable by orchestrated resistance to normalization of the Administration. Probably, we’re seeing just a tip of the iceberg of this deranged historical bigotry – be vigilant, people.

  4. Sylvester Gbahyahforh Moses, this whole proposed Pro-Poor governance structure by the Weah led CDC government is nothing but rhetoric. Since the Weah led CDC government came to power almost 9 months ago, what have they done for the poor? The price of rice still remains high. Price of basic goods and services still remains high. JorWeah is going here breaking grounds but nothing is being done. I don’t think Liberians are anti to this government………I mean JorWeah was given a clear mandate but he’s loosing political capital everyday because he and his gang of would be saviors are not doing anything to benefit the Liberian people.

  5. Perhaps, Mr. Christopher Luke, if those still shell-shocked by his 62 percent electoral victory had not resolved to impede smooth governance by creating cascading crises, his pro-poor agenda would’ve been on its way. The obscurantism suggests that’s exactly the motive. It doesn’t take rocket science to fathom that when national treasury almost empty; heads of incoming-generating institutions holding boneheaded tenures; efforts in securing foreign loans sabotaged at every turn; and investors worried about stability, any new African leader in such a bind threads a slippery slope. I witnessed the same scenario in the early stages of the Siaka Stevens’ APC government so am not fooled by smokescreens, subterfuges, and, eventually, the $16 billion disinformation tactic.

    Not to mention that you don’t see Sierra Leoneans – a people not gullible – opposing developmental loans. Of course, there isn’t a district in that country without connecting roads, and most built by the Chinese since Siaka Stevens became Head of State. And if may, he never attended Fourah Bay College or went to Oxford or Cambridge: Fed up with bull sh.t elitist condescension.

  6. President Weah had said recently that anyone whose fingerprints are found in the cookie jar will be severely crushed. Weah didn’t use the words “fingerprints or cookie jar”. It’s my interpretation of what I understood from what he said. In any case, I take the gentleman’s word to the bank. I do not think its a public charade on the part of the president to have invited the FBI. I sincerely believe that Weah means business.

    I hate to name names of stage or state actors in the Weah government. I think the functionality role of some “actors” on stage could pose a mini disturbance. It’s my hope and prayer that Weah will tell the actors to quash their drama. One general says this, another general says something different. Come on! The interest of the country takes precedence over the interests of the actors or generals. Again, no names!

    Puzzle:
    It’s a puzzle as to why the Treasury Minister, the CBL or the Liberian legislators have not told the people of Liberia about the significance of coins. The Liberian dollar gets dirty sometimes beyond recognition. Secondly, the youth of Liberia are taught about the use of coins in the lower grades. That’s positive. But, when the kids master how coins add up or down, the kids see no coins and do not know how to use coins. How do coins add up or down? Okay, here’s an illustration:

    1. 10 pennies + 15 pennies equals a quarter or 25 cents. (Addition)

    2. 25 pennies – 15 pennies equals a dime or 10 pennies. (Subtraction)

    As matters relate to the dirtiness factor, well, it’s because there aren’t coins. A Liberian dollar may pass through the hands of 10 people per day. In other words, the use of coins will slow down the “multilatedness” of the paper money.

    If Tweah really, really wants to help Weah’s legacy, it will not be considered ignoble for the issue of coins to be brought to the president’s attention. When the missing money is found, it will get dirty real quickly if coins are not introduced.

Leave a Reply