Weah Off to Senegal, Morocco, France

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President George Manneh Weah.

…Wants review of all agreements

President George Manneh Weah yesterday departed the country for Senegal, Morocco, and France respectively, according to an Executive Mansion release.

Although the release did not state the purpose of President Weah’s trip to the three countries, it confirmed that the President will be away from Wednesday, February 14, to Friday, February 23.

The President was expected to be in Senegal yesterday, February 14, to cement ECOWAS solidarity. During the country’s 14-year civil-war, Senegalese soldiers, through ECOWAS, joined the West Africa Peace Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) that led the campaign to restore peace to Liberia.

The President’s next visit will be in Rabat, Morocco on Friday, February 16, which is significant because of the reported interest of the Kingdom of Morocco to join the Economic Community of the West Africa States (ECOWAS).

The Kingdom wants to extend its economic interest in West Africa and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI last year visited Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Mali to promote his cause, particularly his country’s membership in ECOWAS.

In recent years, at least 85 percent of Morocco’s direct foreign investment went to African countries. In 2016, it was the largest African investor on the continent, to the tune of US$8 billion (6.8 billion euros).

The release further noted that President Weah will also pay his last official visit to France, where he is expected to meet with France President Emmanuel Macron from February 21 to February 23. France has been a strong partner in Liberia’s development.

Apart from France’s support to Liberia, President Weah began his soccer career in AS Monaco in the 1990s and therefore his visit could be another means to strengthen his relations with a country that played a significant role in his career as a professional footballer.

While President Weah is away, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Farlo McGill, will chair the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President the release said.

Special Review Committee

In a related development, President Weah has constituted a nine-member Special Review Committee to evaluate all concessions/management and other agreements, including contracts entered into by and between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and concessionaires and/or contractors.

Members of the committee are Archie Bernard, legal advisor to the president, chairman; and Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, co-chair.

Other members include Charles Bright, economic advisor to the president, Cllr. Necular Y. Edwards, Cllr. Bendu E. Clark, Cllr. Juah Nancy Cassell, Cllr. Jallah Barbu, and Cllr. Teplah Reeves.

President Weah has, however, directed all government agencies, public institutions, commissions and state-owned enterprises to fully cooperate with the committee to facilitate its smooth operation.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President formed the committee yesterday, and mandated it to review and ensure that all contracts entered into by the GoL and concessionaires are executed according to agreed principles in accordance with the laws of Liberia.

President Weah further mandated the committee to ascertain and ensure that all contracts meet the legal requirements of the laws of Liberia and are fully implemented.

He also instructed members of the committee to ensure that during its investigation, the concessionaires and the country are in good standing with all current performance under the terms and conditions of the concession, management, and other agreements/contracts signed.

Weah then mandated the committee to recommend where there are issues.

Constituted LPRC Board

Meanwhile, President Weah has constituted the Board of Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).

Those named to the Board are Bishop Joseph T. Pah, chairman; and members, Eric Nagbe, Cllr. Dempster Brown, George Kpawulu, Mrs. Danielette Nimely, and Ben Sanvee.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Ay Laud, don’t tell us this other president has adopted this wasteful and unnecessary globe trotting habit already? These foreign safaris are no longer justified, Mr. president! When Ellen Johnson took over the helm of Liberia in 2006, she convinced us that her habitual travels were intended to seek needed aide for the country and reestablish Liberia lost status and prestige amongst the comity of nations. That sham was accepted initially, but after her second term started following 6 long years of globe trotting in the first term and the habit continued, we knew we had been duped. Those travels were more for personal gratification than the aides for which they were intended. And what sense does it even make when president Weah is not the chairman of ECOWAS to be going to meet an interested country’s leader for what? This is an ill-advised trip and simply because “Ellen did it, too?” The few times president Tolbert traveled outside of Liberia during his 8 and half years in office, for example, he provided a full report on the purpose and benefits of those trips in terms of loans obtained, bi/multi-lateral contracts, etc. in the interest of the country, none personal whatsoever! President has been in office just three weeks and this is his second international trip already, even before he has made any trip to any leeward county? President Weah supposed to at least do a nationwide tour to familiarize himself with the country’s situation first hand since his election before any travel outside the country. With two foreign trips in just three weeks of his inauguration, we are in for a rude awakening.

  2. Weah’s first trip?
    Let’s see if this trip bears fruits.

    Many trips have been taken in the past by Weah’s predecessors. The sad truth is that no one knows exactly what has been gained from his predecessors’ trips. In Johnson-Sirleaf’s situation, many, many trips were taken. And because the Liberian people did not know a darn thing about her trips, or the importance thereof, many Liberians speculated that she might be treating an illness.

    On the other hand, Weah introduced himself to the Liberian people as being a new guy. Let’s hope that he doesn’t turn out to be a maladroit or an improvement leader. In other words, Weah must act differently. A typical example of how he could show his difference from the past Liberian leaders is to tell the nation upon return what was gained. Example, France has top notch universities. Did he ask the French government if it would be possible for our young men and women to study medicine at French Universities? Liberia needs its own Cardiologists, Urologists, Emergency room physicians, etc. Bidding on behalf of his constituents, the Liberian people in a productive way could be a good example. Liberians want to see positive action.

    In conclusion, it must be pointed out that Liberians are acclimitized to rumors. If Weah does not show how he’s different from his predecessors, the Liberian people will open their rumor mill and spew all sorts of vacious imaginations about him.

  3. There we go…..the country is brooked. ” Weah inherited an empty coffer from Ellen’s government”. This was the headline about a month ago. Barely 1 month into office, the president is going abroad for 8 days? Why African leaders are not discipline, when it comes to fiscal management.

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