“We Owe Apology to No One”

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Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh has declared that the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration in which he serves senior position has excellently done well that it owes no opposition an apology for what the opposition may viewed as failure.

Minister Konneh made the statement at a dinner hosted in his honor by “Friends of Amara Konneh,” because he is soon to take a job with the World Bank.

Turning to President Sirleaf, he said, “Madam President, thank you for allowing me to serve my country in various capacities. We have done well and we owe no one an apology for our success.”

Outlining some of the successes of the administration, Konneh said this is the first government in the country’s history wherein many young Liberians have had the opportunity to serve in various senior positions.

He said as he stands in his 9th floor office of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, he views Monrovia from all corners, imagines how the city was ten years back and how it has transformed today.

He pointed out that the Freeport of Monrovia was once in a devastated condition as a result of massive looting by warring factions, adding, “But today, this gateway to Liberia’s economy has been transformed that commerce and trade are ongoing every day.”

He also pointed at the ongoing US$50 million Japanese Somalia Drive road project, and said it will connect the ever busy Red-Light commercial district and to other major highways leading to the rest of the country.

Minister Konneh also catalogued the Red-Light Ganta Highway, the dedicated Cotton Tree/Buchanan Highway, the cross-border electricity beginning from Nimba to the south-east, ongoing reconstruction of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric power plant and installation of heavy diesel fuel generator for supply of electricity in Monrovia. He named the reconstruction of railroads by ArcelorMittal as well as other investors as major achievements of the government during its two tenures.

The Minister said those good things that have been done in the country by the government and partners would not have come if the President had not exhibited the kind of leadership that will impress investors and foreign partners.

Minister Konneh said he was happy that he served Liberia and is able to get job with World Bank; a global financial institution.

He is to resign April 20 to take on his new job on May 2 with offices in Nairobi, Kenya.

“I am some how sad that I am leaving my country and colleagues in government very soon to take a job with World Bank. Again, I will not be too far from home as I will be assigned in one of Africa’s shining cities, Nairobi which takes six hours on flight to reach here. I’m sure we will be together some days,” Minister Konneh said.

His new job with the World Bank will dispel public speculations that he is not a financial expert, but Information Technology expert who was placed in the wrong position in Liberia.

It may be recalled that when Minister Konneh took over the Ministry of Finance in 2012 and the country encountered budget shortfall on two occasions, the lashed at him, and described him as an “inexperienced Minister placed in a wrong position.”

“Working in this country is difficult; you have more enemies to attack you than friends to encourage and share with you,” Konneh declared.

In her brief remark, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said, “I can back Amara and walk with him in the dark without missing a step. Amara, you have maintained the trust reposed in you; you have done well, thank you!”

Minister Amara Konneh firstly served as Minister of the defunct Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs during the first term of President Sirleaf.

After the Presidential election of 2011, he was among the first few ministers named in cabinet; taking over the Ministry of Finance that later became Finance and Development Planning Ministry. He took over from Augustine K. Ngafuan, who the President then appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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