VP, Defense Minister, Others ‘Declare Assets’

8
2217
VP Howard-Taylor, Minister Ziankahn and few other government officials have declared their assets to anti-graft institutions.

Amid controversies surrounding the prolonged delay by government officials in declaring their assets, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and other senior government officials, including the Minister of National Defense, Daniel Dee Ziankahn and Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) Managing Director Nyemadi Pearson have declared their assets.

The Vice President’s declaration comes a week after President George Weah filed a similar declaration with the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

Other officials who have reportedly declared their assets are Deputy Information Minister Boakai Fofana and Patience Kollie-Lawson, Assistant Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) issued the Declaration of Income, Assets and Liability Acknowledgment instrument, officially confirming that it received the declaration of personal financial interests, income, assets and liabilities from Vice President Howard-Taylor on Monday, August 6, 2018.

The submission of the assets declaration statement by VP Taylor, is in adherence to Section 10.2 of the Code of Conduct, which calls on public officials of the Executive Branch of Government to declare their personal assets and submit same to the LACC.

The LACC Acknowledgement reads, “Her Excellency, Vice President of Liberia has filed her 2018 exit assets declaration with the LACC, and the same is stored within the assets declaration and Verification Unit of the anti graft commission.”

The assets declaration by public officials is intended to enhance accountability and transparency, curtail corruption and the acquisition of illicit wealth as well as to increase public confidence and trust in the governance system.

It can be recalled that the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) recently called on the Vice President, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Justices of the Supreme Court and other officials of government to declare their assets.

CENTAL said, “This is one of several steps that demonstrate concrete commitment, and political will to set the necessary condition for a successful fight against corruption in the country.”

CENTAL noted that continuous violation of the Code of Conduct does not augur well for the reputation of the government, and its professed desire to address graft, arguably the biggest impediment to the success of the pro-poor agenda.

Meanwhile, CENTAL has called on LACC’s authorities to timely and independently verify and publish all declared assets, income and liabilities, including those of President George Weah.

In a statement issued on last Monday, CENTAL said it is glad to acknowledge receipt of reports of declaration of assets, income, and liabilities by the President, which the GAC has confirmed.

Although it is belated, CENTAL lauded President Weah for declaring his assets in compliance with chapter 10 of the 2014 Code of Conduct for Public officials that requires all public officials to declare their assets.

“We maintain that former officials accused of corrupt acts, especially those of the immediate past regime, must be investigated and if found guilty prosecuted in keeping with relevant Liberian Laws,” CENTAL said.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds good, but what becomes of the ECOWAS court on human rights, which was established before this African court and to which Liberia has one of its sons as judge?

  2. What is the point of these officials declaring their assets when the general public is kept in the dark and not aware of the assets’ value? Should it not be public since those in charge of the process at the so-called LACC are themselves corrupt? what a joke?

  3. It’s a positive step in the right direction for the VP, Jewel Taylor, and others to declare their assets. We applaud them for cutting through the red tape to do the right stuff. Of course, the lawmakers of both Lower and Upper Houses and others have yet to declare their assets. The Liberian people are anxiously waiting.

    Comrade Gonkar plugs a string! While assets are being slowly disclosed and probably reluctantly, the general public wants to know their total “net worth”. Or perhaps, how the officials’ assets have been obtained. Yap, there’s nothing wrong with that! In America, government officials and all lawmakers disclose/declare their assets or “net worth” without much hoopla. For instance, the former Speaker of the Lower House of Congress, Nancy Pelosi has a net worth of 29.5 million bucks. What’s about the former president, Obama? Obama’s net worth is 40 million dollars. Mrs. Pelosi and her husband have their business in Northern California. All the reader (meaning you) have to do is to type any congressional leader’s name in your browser and request his her net worth. The “net worth” pops up without pulling teeth.
    Come on Liberia.

  4. what is the point? They declared their assets to who? and what are their assets? you guys are joking and playing on our people intelligence. Eagle fly high, it got to come down. Be aware we watching folks.

  5. “We cannot buy pigs in the bag.”

    Declaring one assets but refusing to make it public is tantamount to “Buying pigs in the bag.”

    These government officials can fool some Liberians, some of the time; but they cannot fool all Liberians, all the time.

    These Liberian government officials fail to realize that they work on behalf of the Liberian people. These Liberian Government officials fail to realize that their salaries and hefty perks come out of Liberian Government meager coffers.

    Some of these same government officials particularly Liberian Lawmakers are receiving exorbitant salaries, at the same time they refused to declare their assets. These are the same individuals who cry “Liberia is broke.”

    After declaring “Liberia is broke”, some of these same over-paid Lawmakers have the audacity to accompany members of the Executive branch to fly all around the world soliciting so called “infrastructure loans” from every Dick, Tom and Harry who purport to rescue Liberia.

    These jet-legs travelling jokers (Liberian Officials) never did any due diligence on those fast-talking predatory lenders. I’m glad the World Bank & the IMF, and other reputable international financial organizations saw right through the fiasco these government officials were ready to plunge Liberia into: all in the name of financial desperation!!!!

    If these government officials have nothing to hide, then, what are they afraid of by making their assets declaration public? Are they planning on opening secret bank accounts in the future; or, do they have some secret bank accounts now?

    Or, are they afraid the Liberian people will compare their before government assets with their current government assets, and verify their after government service wealth accumulation?

    Secret declaration of assets is meaningless until it is made public. Otherwise, it is like asking Liberians to buy “pigs” while the “pigs” are still in the bag.

    Not this time!!!!

  6. Mr. Conneh,
    Without a glitch of hesitation, I couldn’t agree with you more. Pigs and all essentials of life should not be purchased in an empty 100-pound sack or in a wooden voodoo barrel.

    While gearing up for the vice-presidential run, then Senator Jewel Taylor stated in Philly, USA, that she and her senate colleagues needed an increment in their yearly incomes. One of the reasons Taylor gave for making such a statement was that Liberian Senators give out a lot of money to their constituents as a goodwill gesture. In my view, Taylor’s performance during that time was kind of shabby. In other words, it seemed to me that Taylor was at a precipice of a breakdown.

    For instance, if a Senator wants to give money out to his or her constituents, it’s okay. But, it really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to misuse the country’s poor financial resources for philanthropic purposes. Sadly, that’s the inference I gleaned from Taylor’s statement. She wanted more money in order to help her Bong county constituents. She didn’t give a darn if teachers were underpaid or whether some toilets in the senate building could not flush! I was there in 2013 for a visit. I wanted attend an involuntary function in the man’s room. There were drums of water to flush with! Now, you’ve got my drift!

    Time has changed with its magical twists! The Senator who demanded more money for charity (the snakes and donkeys didn’t believe her) is the VP of the land she once represented as a lawmaker. She has changed a little. Taylor has disclosed her assets and went so far as to inform the citizens of Liberia about the yearly income of each individual lawmaker.

    The next important step you and I and all serious-minded Liberians need to pursue is this: All lawmakers of Liberia must “publicly show” their assets and liabilities. Looka, the lawman of Margibi county who threatened to boycott the Independence Day festivities because Weah was slowly dragging his feet, hasn’t disclosed his own assets yet. Let’s keep the heat on. But, one thing at a time.

    In America, all Senators and Congressmen fill out and present a financial disclosure statement. There are no ifs and buts about this. The same must and should be done by Liberian lawmakers. Conneh, as we pursue the issue of assets and liabilities of lawmakers in Liberia, let’s not lose track of the fact that we are dealing with a third-world country. By now, Liberia should have been a second-world country. But our country is the second poorest in the world. As you know, it’s been since 1847 when Liberia declared itself an independent country.

    Our lawmakers are comfortable with everything they do. The lawmakers become uncomfortable when demands are made for their assets and liabilities to be publicly disclosed. But regardless of their comfort or discomfort, we the people will push profusely until they get the message.

    Of course, let’s not buy pigs in a barrel! We can push our demands through friendly pursuasion. That’s the ideal way to win.

  7. Mr. Conneh,
    Without a glitch of hesitation, I couldn’t agree with you more. Pigs and all essentials of life should not be purchased in an empty 100-pound sack or in a wooden voodoo barrel.

    While gearing up for the vice-presidential run, then Senator Jewel Taylor stated in Philly, USA, that she and her senate colleagues needed an increment in their yearly incomes. One of the reasons Taylor gave for making such a statement was that Liberian Senators give out a lot of money to their constituents as a goodwill gesture. In my view, Taylor’s performance during that time was kind of shabby. In other words, it seemed to me that Taylor was at the precipice of a breakdown.

    For instance, if a Senator wants to give money out to his or her constituents, it’s okay. But, it really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to misuse the country’s poor financial resources for philanthropic purposes. Sadly, that’s the inference I gleaned from Taylor’s statement. She wanted more money in order to help her Bong county constituents. She didn’t give a darn if teachers were underpaid or whether some toilets in the senate building could not flush! I was there in 2013 for a visit. I wanted to attend an involuntary function in the man’s room. There were drums of water to flush with! Now, you’ve got my drift!

    Time has changed with its magical twists! The Senator who demanded more money for charity (the snakes and donkeys didn’t believe her) is the VP of the land she once represented as a lawmaker. She has changed a little. Taylor has disclosed her assets and went so far as to inform the citizens of Liberia about the yearly income of each individual lawmaker.

    The next important step you and I and all serious-minded Liberians need to pursue is this: All lawmakers of Liberia must “publicly show” their assets and liabilities. Looka, the lawman of Margibi county who threatened to boycott the Independence Day festivities because Weah was slowly dragging his feet, hasn’t disclosed his own assets yet. Let’s keep the heat on. But, one thing at a time.

    In America, all Senators and Congressmen fill out and present a financial disclosure statement. There are no ifs and buts about this. The same must and should be done by Liberian lawmakers. Conneh, as we pursue the issue of assets and liabilities of lawmakers in Liberia, let’s not lose track of the fact that we are dealing with a third-world country. By now, Liberia should have been a second-world country. But our country is the second poorest in the world. As you know, it’s been since 1847 when Liberia declared itself an independent country.

    Our lawmakers are comfortable with everything they do. The lawmakers become uncomfortable when demands are made for their assets and liabilities to be publicly disclosed. But regardless of their comfort or discomfort, we the people will push profusely until they get the message.

    Of course, let’s not buy pigs in a barrel! We can push our demands through friendly pursuasion. That’s the ideal way to win.

    I hope I wasn’t misconstrued in an earlier post. I give credit when it is necessary. Taylor has ways to go. But she deserves to be credited for having done what’s right. Let’s be fair. If Taylor is compared to Trump, Taylor passes the smell test! Slowly but surely, the assets and liabilities of Liberia’s lawmakers must be made public.
    I am not sure how VP Jewel Taylor recently disclose her net worth. Did she announce it without documentation? Or did she read from a prepared statement and then trashed her paper away?

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