Pres. Weah: ‘Abuse of Public Resources Undermines Development’

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Pres. Weah receives a plaque of honor from IAA head, Emmanuel B. Nyeswa. Photo: Executive Mansion

Dedicates State-of-the-Art IAA’s facilities

President George M. Weah says corruption, waste, and the abuse of public resources have continuously undermined Liberia’s development since its existence. He therefore pledged that his administration will do everything necessary in supporting anti-graft institutions towards ending fraudulent fiscal practices in government.

The President made the remarks on Monday, February 18, 2019 at program marking the dedication of new modern State-of-the-Art facilities at the Internal Audit Agency (IAA).

The President acknowledged the monumental task of ending corruption, but said continuous necessary support and encouragement to anti-graft agencies such as the IAA will uncover and nip in the bud fiscal malfeasance at government institutions.

He said that waste, abuse and pillage of public resources have continuously undermined Liberia’s development since independence, emphasizing that past administrations have fought fruitlessly to end corruption.

President Weah observed that despite consistent and relentless efforts, officials of government continue to violate the public trust with impunity. He reiterated his inaugural pledge when he said his administration would spare no effort to fight corruption.

Weah said government has been working to equip anti-graft institutions in fulfillment of that pledge.

“In fulfillment of this pledge, my administration has committed significant resources to anti-graft institutions, including the Internal Audit Agency,” he said.

“We will continue to provide the necessary support that these institutions need to do their job,” the President said.

He also disclosed that the administration is at present prosecuting government employees, who have been found engaged in fiscal misdeeds, stressing, “all those that will be found guilty will be dealt with in keeping with the full weight of the law.”

He applauded the IAA for robustly working to help the government realize its anti-graft pledge.

“Since its establishment, the IAA has been doing a commendable job in cleaning our government’s payrolls padded with ghost workers,” he acknowledged.

As a result of IAA’s robustness and alertness to fight corruption and clean payroll of ghost names, the President said millions of dollars have been saved from such exercises conducted at the ministries of Health and Education.

President Weah added, “today, we are here to dedicate the modern facilities that have been installed in this building to be used by the IAA in the execution of its mission to uncover and prevent corruption, and fraud in the ministries, agencies, commissions, and other State-owned enterprises of the government.”

He expressed gratitude to the leadership and staff of the IAA for a job well done so far, and expressed the hope that the modern, state-of-the-art equipment will enable the agency become even more effective in the fight against graft and corruption.

The facilities dedicated by the President included a testing center for professional certification, modern computer lab, two audit pools and Close Circuit (CC) TV equipment.

Several officials of government, including Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill, and many others attended the occasion.

Emmanuel B. Nyeswa, Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) said he was delighted for what the IAA has achieved in the period of one year under President Weah’s leadership.

According to him, the new state-of-the-art facilities, includes testing center for professional certification, modern computer lab, and two well-equipped audit pools. The IAA’s testing center, he said, will allow employees and professionals to have the opportunity to take international professional auditing exams in Liberia, instead of having to travel out of the country. “The center is not only for employees, will give others the opportunity to do their Certified Internal Auditor test here,” Nyenswa said.

He added that the IAA, under President Weah, has deployed auditors in 52 government ministries, agencies, and commissions, adding, “we are now in Margibi, Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa counties.”

Auditing of payroll is helping government to save a lot of money, which will can now be used to undertake new projects, he said.

Director Nyenswa further said the institution has built the capacity of employees by providing them training opportunity.

Mr. Nyenswa named the payrolls audit of the Ministry of health, which resulted in the government saving US$1.3 million.

“We have also done the audit of the Ministry of Education and resulted in the saving of US$2.3 million. The payroll audits of the Ministry of Justice, the Liberia National Police (LNP), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Fire Service are pending and will be made public upon completion,” he said.

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