Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, Board Chairman of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), said tackling the menace of corruption in Liberia requires more robust and concerted efforts of every citizen both in the private and public sectors.
He made the remark recently in Monrovia at a program marking the observance of the 2020 International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD).
IACD is celebrated on December 9 of every year by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) around the world. However, in Liberia, the day was celebrated on December 2,2020 as a special event to carry out awareness on corruption with emphasis the role of the Convention in combating and preventing the menace.
The event, which was organized by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in partnership with CENTAL was held under the theme: “Reducing Corruption in the Private Sector as a Drive to Enhancing Economic Development and Good Governance,” is being supported by the Government and people of Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA).
Cllr. Warner, who is also the Dean of the Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia (UL), stressed the need to foster partnership and stronger collaboration toward the fight against corruption as it remains a battle that cannot be easily won by a single institution or sector of the country.
“In order to tackle the menace of corruption, we at CENTAL have to embark on building a partnership. We need collaboration and partnership in fighting corruption because it will take more than an institution or sector to fight. This can’t be a government alone thing; it is the responsibility of every one of us in here and out there to fight corruption,” Cllr Warner stated.
Meanwhile, Tanneh G. Brunson, Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) said in an environment like Liberia where unethical practices are prevalent, the private sector of the country needs to resort to collective action in order to change the status quo by getting regulators to intervene or set standards.
Madam Brunson noted that it was important for the sector to put in place institutional systems and incentives to prevent corruption.
Minister Brunson also indicated the need for preventive measures that will ensure credible accountability and enforcement mechanisms, strong enough to send a message to potential wrong doers of the possible risk associated with their misconducts was necessary.
“We must, however, recognize that the local political and social context influence both the level of corruption and the reform approaches to meet with success or failure,” Madam Brunson said.
This year’s IACD provided a platform for state actors and the business community to dialogue on the mechanisms and approaches that heighten transparency and accountability for conducive business environment and sustainable economic growth and development in Liberia.
Speaking earlier, the controversial Chairperson of LACC, Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike called on the private sector to join the battle against corruption because according to him, the private sector is in most cases the main facilitator of corruption.
“We must intensify effort to reduce corruption. This year’s theme is about the private sector because corruption goes beyond government, but in all sectors of the country,” Cllr. Nwabudike stated. Nwabudike himself is caught in fraudulent citizenship web that is still yet to be clearified.
The day-long dialogue forum brought together experts and actors from both public and private sectors to present on various topics, including Liberia’s business climate in the context of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), international anti-corruption standards; diagnosis of the critical elements to improve the business climate and fight corruption; business as an active player in preventing corruption, among others.