-National Civil Society Council of Liberia
The leadership of the National Civil Society Council (NCSC), a local-based civil society organization, says it attention has been drawn to the September 18, edition of the FrontPage Africa (FPA) newspaper, Caption: “Who is Responsible for the Missing Billions?” as well as a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) press statement confirming an ongoing investigation surrounding the arrival of the “missing money” into the country.
According to NCSC, if the newspaper is substantiated, then the issue of the ‘mission money’ would undermine accountability and the rule of law.
FPA’s September 18, edition reported that a request to enter the Freeport of Monrovia and take delivery of the printed materials on March 31, was allegedly written by Mrs. Mariea E. Grigsby-Toe, director general services, Musulyn R.B. Jackson, Oldada Deshield and five others from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) that reportedly took delivery of the container.
According to NCSC, these unfolding revelations are serious and grave, “because they undermine the fight for transparency, accountability, and the rule of law with the potential to undermine the integrity and credibility of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government. These revelations are coming at a time when the government is struggling to allocate resources to pay civil servants, improve healthcare, education, infrastructure, and provide needed social services, while seeking international support to implement national development programs.”
The NCSC therefore highlighted to President George Weah that there is no second chance to recapture opportunities that are mismanaged.
Based on that assumption, the NCSC called on the President to take the necessary action that would rescue the nation and safeguard the forward movement.
The news of the “missing money” has gone global, and may have far-reaching effects. If not adequately handled, it could have the propensity of overshadowing the country’s international relevance, NCSC said in its statement.
The NCSC has also advised Liberians to monitor the movement of strangers, who may have huge money in their communities, along with banking institutions, and people leaving the country to ensure a proper check that would prevent anyone from being in possession of huge sums of ‘unaccounted for money.’
The NCSC further calls on the President to immediately take ownership of the issue by holding a press conference to speak directly to the Liberian people regarding the present status of the country’s economy, and the immediate establishment of an independent investigative body comprising of civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as transparency, and accountability institutions to conduct a forensic investigation into the “missing money” saga before it is too late.