Wilson Tarpeh for EPA?

14
2006
Prof. Wilson Tarpeh, Minister of Commerce and Industry

President’s ‘birthday reshuffle’ has many wondering about the wisdom behind his choices

President George Manneh, on his 54th Birth anniversary, announced the names of some Cabinet Ministers and other appointees to take on new posts in his government following confirmations by the Liberian Senate where applicable. Many of those announced are the same officials serving in previous capacities in his government — a reshuffling, so to speak.

The wisdom behind Weah’s decision to reshuffle, as announced on his birthday (October 1, 2020) is yet to be known; however, it appears that the President has selected to reward those appointed for some reasons.

One of the said reshuffled officials is Professor Wilson Tarpeh, who has been nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even though he has no background in environmental studies or the equivalent.

Tarpeh, the outgoing Minister of Commerce, is an accountant by profession with vast experience and knowledge in finance. Sources tell the Daily Observer that he was at one time or another considered by President Weah to head the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Liberia but was later assigned at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. So why would the esteemed professor be asked to head EPA?

Some believe it is a demotion. We think not so.

The position of Executive Director appears to be a low profile portfolio only as far as the funding reaches. However, compared to the post of Minister, it is more or less on par and has an upper hand be virtue of it being an autonomous agency. But with GCF’s US$100 million grant committed to the EPA, it appears that Prof. Tarpeh is the best-suited government official to manage said financial portfolio.

The money is said to have been committed to the EPA through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to implement three projects, namely: the climate information system, integrated agricultural eco-tourism, and Monrovia’s metropolitan climate resilience, respectively. The third project, costing approximately $40 million, aims to address the problem of coastal erosion in the community of West Point, a slum off the coast of Monrovia. The integrated agricultural eco-tourism project is one such project, which the Board of Directors of the GCF is expected to focus on when its members meet for their 28th meeting in December this year. All three projects, however, would require formal approval by the GCF.

Mawine G. Diggs, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been picked by President Weah to succeed Prof. Wilson Tarpeh at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Diggs comes with experience from the diplomacy and it is expected that she will use that skill to pursue Liberia’s agenda at the level of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other regional and international trade bodies, creating opportunities for Liberian SMEs to thrive beyond the country’s borders.

It is a known fact that some or many diplomats accredited to Liberia have trade policies that can benefit Liberia through partnerships, concessions and other economic opportunities.

And, considering the business community, mainly high profile businesses owned and controlled by many foreign nationals, including Lebanese and Indians, Diggs might bring a new dimension, tapping into trade diplomacy to help the government realize some of its development goals.

Although it is unclear what may happen in the long run, Diggs was one of the top officials at the Foreign Affairs Ministry accused by at-large former passport director, Andrew Wonplo, of being involved in the alleged sales of Liberian diplomatic passports to non-Liberians.

The new appointment list which was released yesterday morning, October 1, also has Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe transitioning to the helm of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), a lucrative position as compared to the former.

Nagbe who stayed on as Information Minister since the last few years of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf into the first three years of President George Weah, has arrived at a point that he is now been rewarded for his consistency in defending the agendas of both administrations. Some members of the Liberian media have found him to be rather abrasive in dealing with the press, and might be glad to see him go. Truth be told, the dapper-clad minister has been looking forward to sliding into his new portfolio for a while.

Succeeding Nagbe at MICAT is the Director-General of the cash-strapped Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), Ledgerhood Julius Rennie, while Rennie’s Deputy for Administration, Estella Liberty Kermoh, has been elevated to the helm of the state broadcaster.

Rennie has been struggling to keep ELBC running simply due to its underfunding by the government, but at the Information Ministry, he he will still have to push for funding to make MICAT run as efficiently as it should, including the Cultural Affairs and Tourism departments. The appointment of Mr. Rennie may come with an opportunity that, as a media executive with a more empathetic disposition toward the press, he could help shift the dynamics and politics between the Liberian media and the Weah Administration.

At the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) Jane Macculay has been appointed as Director-General.

Crucial among the issues raised by the investigative team were that Dr. Mosoka Fallah did not provide proper oversight on the management of COVID-19 test results and, as a result, there were missteps including the issuance of COVID-free travel certificates to people who did not deserve them, while others were said to have been denied certificates, even though their earlier results showed that they were negative.

Others appointed are, Prince K. Vincent, Deputy Minister for operations, Ministry of National Defense; Debra Nebo, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; and Comfort Sawyer, Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tarnue Marwolo Bongolee was appointed to serve as Assistant Minister for Planning at the Ministry of Education, while Hannah Macculay Karbo has been named by President Weah to serve the post of Deputy Minister for Manpower Development at the Ministry of Labor.

Also on the list are Binta Nah Jalloh, Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA); Marcus Zehyuoue, Director-General of Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA); Atty. George H. Dahn, Commissioner, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC); and Atty. Lecrezia Thomas Anderson, Judge, Juvenile Court, Montserrado County.

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

14 COMMENTS

  1. It is at the discretion of the President of Liberia to appoint pillows of his administration. Journalist still learning as students must be careful with the comments they make that alert them to public communication trust and prevent bias reporting. In school, examples may not be marked by true proof because the essence of such academic projections is to answer the questions correctly based on instructions of professors. Unlike life, out of school incidents, you as a report should not engage in submitting accusations without facts or evidences. These appointees are not students. They are in life asked to perform capable positions based on the livelihood of the Liberian nation and its people. In public matters you could be as smart as a mile; but sentiments will quash your report if you have insufficient actuals to back up your journalistic journal, if not supported with adjustments and control accounts. Government operates on accruals, not on cash as you may think. Accruals as related to orders, and cash as current assets. It is the Liberian people who question the status of a President’s selection not the media to decide who is best fitted to an executive position. The Nation gives the accruals to the President execute. If you as a press would like to know the amounts in passports vs paid in cash, ask the audit or check government’s bank savings. What power did the people give the newspapers to grade Officials capability or qualification, for instance, in election positions? If a town chief appoints his most trusted pillow who has not been to school to take his message to tribe, will you give him a grade in English? No one Liberian should know the outcome of the peoples choice until votes are counted. Should the media support concupiscence? God does not like bias in his news to the people.

    Answer the Liberian people. Not me.

    • I am kindly requesting our African brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts. nephews, neices to stop insulting one another on the international media. A large number of people read these lines on a daily basis.

  2. The accruals of Government given to the President of Liberia to execute are his optional appointments. Prior to the Legislative amendments brought forth after the 1848 constitution of Liberia, there were no questions about his power to engage international enhancements that would benefit the Liberian people. There were also no need to strap the Executive branch of its power to print currency without the legislature intervening. There was no need to even confirm the President’s removal and appointments trust because it was already expressed in votes that elected the executive to power. But totalitarianism, tyranny, force without distance came in and spoil our system. We as a people must fix it.

  3. Rogue Tarpeh (not a professor) has been removed from Commerce. We told Weah that Tarpeh was a rogue since we found out that he stole our campaign funds during the election.

  4. Dweh Sneh

    You are correct Mr. Sneh. Moreover, I do not think Weah really cares about fact checking the educational backgrounds of the appointees in addition to their experiences.

    Why would a person who is well educated and holds a doctoral degree in his area of specialization, be removed from his position and transferred to an area for which he does not have the expertise?

  5. President Trump appointed a famous neurosurgeon Dr Carson to Housing, and President Weah can appoint anyone anywhere; after all, Senate confirmation required. That said, Wilson Tarpeh served as President of Agriculture Bank, Finance Minister, Director at African Development Bank, and UL Financial Administrator without being called a rogue. It is sad that because of rat race for proximity to power and influence some are demeaning his hard-earned reputations based on a conspiracy to set him up, and half-truths.

    I remember being lied on by secret ACDL collaborators in government led by Minister of State Alvin Jones, which caused my 1986 firing at NSA. By the time, SKD realized how his closest aide played him, and brought me back as Minister of National Security (after death of Patrice Minikon in June 1989) the damage was done. Not to talk of Justice Minister Scott & CO accusing highly-trained Defense Minister Allison of ritualistic killing while Taylor and NPFL Commanders were in Burkina Faso awaiting logistics to execute their mission of invading Liberia.

    Thus, Allison, the only soldier who had courage, knowledge, experience, and charisma to instill morale in a post-Qwinwonkpa demoralized AFL was in jail while useless generals were fleeing the country. Liberian officials can’t learn. Some believe that flattery, acting pompous, and badmouthing colleagues go with the territory. Those engage in these games should stop. The inherited sick economy has not recovered, hardships on the rise, public disaffection peaking, and agent provocateurs are getting bolder. This isn’t time for in-fighting and play-play: Rubbish!

    • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You do know more than what being expressed here. Want to comment on the University of Liberia incident ? Or you have no knowledge about that due to old age ? You know more.

  6. James Davis,

    My father died at age 94. I would be 72 on November 3; physically fit, mentally sound, and with a busy life, to boot. I follow most topical issues in Liberia, perhaps, you should provide facts about what happened at UL. That’s a problem which provoked Daniel Patrick Moynihan to famously say, “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but everyone is not entitled to his own facts”. Apparently, your hatred for these guys have robbed you of impartiality in matters concerning them. I lack that virtuous emotion: Nonsense.

    • Don’t get angry man, even James Comey, the former FBI Director concerning the so-called Russian hacking and Russian collusion does not remember anything at all. So it is in the intelligence community. Don’t talk about all that is known. Even the Russian former KGB Putin does not remember anything. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. But one thing though, history will continued to repeat itself in that country, until the dirt under the carpet is swept out.

      • james davis this man Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses was head of the NSA under SKD when thousands were tortured and murdered. ask him about the lady in totota who head was chopped off where was the Nsa they were tribalist and only investigated cases of Krahn. Bagdad moses is a clown and a murderer by ignorance YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses

  7. Most of you people criticize for criticism sake, and insult for insulting sake, especially when your target has an objective, rather than a subjective comment as is the case with nearly all of you.

    If Sylvester Moses was ever involved in any of these unfounded and baseless claims from you people, we at the UN in New York, the UNDP in Monrovia, and even Washington and the diplomatic community in Monrovia, would have ensured he got prosecuted even if the Liberian TRC did not include him in their culprits.

    Would Amos Sawyer who was one of the victims of the S.K.Doe military junta and even the civilian presidency of SK.Doe asked the very Sylvester Moses to be his Intelligence and Security Adviser? NO NO NO!

    Secondly, you people should get to know something which is that presidencies never trust their killings and other victimization of opponents to an NSA.

    And that is because presidencies are aware that at the end of the day, the NSA will always take sides with the people or the sate and not the presidencies, despite the fact it was the very president who appointed the NSA Director.

    DO YOU THINK IF ALL THESE NONESENSE YOU PEOPLE ARE SPEWING ABOUT SYLVESTER MOSES, WERE THEY TO BE TRUE, WASHINGTON WOULD ALLOW THE VERY SYLVESTER MOSES TO BE HAPPILY LIVING WITHIN US TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION? NO NO NO!

    We were at the UN throughout.

  8. Kou, you have really made some very solid points! And Let us face the fact, IF Mr. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses the former Director General of the National Security Agency of Liberia could have been responsible for any of the culpabilities attributed to him by some commenters, especially from supporters of the opposition, then why THE TRC never ever mentioned the name Sylvester Moses for his individual accountability? You are right, Kou, most of our people just talk or accuse for talking or accusing sake.

  9. POSTED AT 2:45 PM EST on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

    REGARDING WILSON TARPEH’S APPOINTMENT

    I’ll take a balanced view on it. His profile includes degrees in Management, Finance, and Law.
    He also served as President of ACDB.

    Generally, lawyers have broad knowledge of various policy areas and environmental policy has strong links to agricultural policy.

    Moreover, knowledge of various subject areas may not necessarily originate from the classroom and/or experience. In the USA, some cabinet members are plucked out of the US Congress to serve in specific positions based on their experience in similar congressional committees.

    I also recall when Samuel Kofi Woods II [ 1st degree in Economics, followed by law degree] was appointed as Public Works Minister after serving as Labor Minister. I don’t recall a big fuss about him not being a civil engineer.

    I recall when W. Gyude Moore served as Minister of Public Works. His profile did not reveal background in science and engineering.

    There’s also Michael Wotorson who served as NIC Chairman. His background was in Political Science with significant experience in public policy advocacy, especially in education. I don’t remember a public outcry about his appointment beyond one person’s [Daniel Blay Menyon]’s] opposition on an online forum [ CCL forum], bsed on Menyon’s preference for Wotorson becoming Education Minister..

    So, let’s be fair to Tarpeh here.

    ——————————

    My only problem with the slate of new appointments is the whole idea of mid-term or other intra-term re-shuffles.

    Since William R. Tolbert Jr. introduced the concepts of Minister/Ministry versus Secretary/Department, and positions like Minister of State without Portfolio to align Liberia with other African countries, we’ve been toying with the parliamentary system. We have a REPUBLICAN form of government and we should stick to it.

    In the parliamentary system, there is a party leader who is member of parliament. After he/she and his/her colleagues achieve a majority, he/she goes on to appoint ministers and can reshuffle them from time to time. He/she can also be voted out of office by his own party members based on a “Vote of No Confidence”. In contrast, a Republican form of government is different.

    Study the appointments of Liberian presidents prior to Tolbert and you’ll note that re-appointments/re-shuffles usually occurred AFTER the end of presidential terms, not in the middle. The story has been different for Tolbert and his successors.

  10. POSTED AT 3:21 PM EST on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

    REGARDING SYLVESTER GBAYAHFORH MOSES

    I’ve always wondered why people spend so much time attacking him.

    I’ve been familiar with his name and public service since the 1980s and I had suspicion that he had to be around 70 years old, as he has now confirmed [ approaching 72]. So, it’s not like he’ll rub his eyes and cry “I want my mommy” whenever he is attacked. It’s time for people, especially the cowardly ones who post under false names, to drop this nonsense.

    I remember overhearing a couple of older persons speak of him back in 1985. One said that he had lost his job because he had advised Samuel Doe to ignore the positions of Albert Porte and Doe didn’t like the idea. Whether true or false, I can’t say. What was interesting was the fact that the two persons who discussed this were critical of the Doe administration but sympathetic towards Mr. Moses.

    What is also worth noting is that Albert Porte died in early 1986 so that gives a timeline of reference consistent with Moses’ assertion of his tenure.

    ————————

    I also concur that Patrick Minikon died around June 1989.

    I was returning to Liberia with my mom on Monday, June 6, 1989. Unbeknownst to us, Minikon’s corpse was in the plane’s cargo. I recall seeing a group of folks dressed in white and blue with a band at RIA and I joked my mom that someone had assembled a band to welcome us home.

    Later I found out that Minikon had died while abroad. I think it was in Jamaica and the “they-say” version alleged that he had collapsed at an international security conference. So, Mr. Moses’ assertion tht he was appointed to replace Minikon in June, 1989 fits the timeline.

    ———————————–

    Here’s the bottom line. Many things happened in various administrations which the higher-ups may not have sanctioned nor pre-approved.

    I can cite my own personal experience of Saturday, May 19, 1990 when some AFL soldiers terrorized me and a lady friend and chased us from Sophie’s Ice Cream to my home on SD Cooper road. Guns were eventually pointed at us in my yard. A soldier lunged at me with a knife at my throat while saying “ Where[is] the man ? Where[is] the man? Lemme cut his throat”. But it was bluff because it was still in a green sheath.

    Only the presence of my parents, a large gathering of neighbors, song effective tongue lashing from my mom, and God’s blessings prevented harm from coming to us.

    Now, can anyone automatically blame Samuel Doe (who appointed my Dad as a middle level government official) or J. Boimah Barclay ( Defense Minister), or Henry Dubar(AFL Chief of Staff) or Sylvester Moses? I’ll wager that they probably never heard of it and I’ve only given a summary here.

    ————————

    There’s another case of Sunday, August 12, 1990 when I nearly got killed by an NPFL soldier who demanded money from us. My mother scrambled, twice, to assemble funds from her bedroom to get me freed while a gun was pointed at me. Less than 30 minutes later, the same guy killed 7 persons in our neighborhood.

    The report spread as far as Kakata, and some were shocked to hear that an Americo-Liberian couple were amongst the victims. The NPFL, acting through the late Sam Lato, had to deploy troops in our neighborhood. One had to take up residence in our home. He would go to the battle front almost on a daily basis and sometimes when at home, he would speak on our behalf, to marauding NPFL soldiers who came by on a daily basis.

    I don’t think Taylor gave orders to terrorize my family considering that he knew both of my parents. Quite the opposite. The terrorism eventually led to our evacuation by car on Tuesday, August 29, 1990.
    So, let us be fair around here when we point fingers at people who served past administrations and warring factions.

    Let’s do the same with the current Weah administration.

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