World Bank Demands US$3.285M from Samuel Tweah

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Dr. Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

..As restitution for Ineligible Expenditures

Following series of letters from international partners concerning the George Weah Administration’s mishandling of donor funds, a World Bank letter, dated March 11, 2019, has called on Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to repay the amount of US$3,285,750 of “ineligible expenditures” back to the Bank’s account.

The Daily Observer could not independently authenticate the letter. However Mr. Michael Sahr, a communications officer at the World Bank Liberia office, told the Daily Observer that the Bank was “working on a statement” concerning the letter, “to be released soon.”

The World Bank’s letter, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, carbon copies (CC) to top leadership of ministries of Finance, Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Civil Service Agency, Forestry Development Authority, and the Liberia Water Sewer Corporation (LWSC).

The money, according to the bank, includes US$35,750 worth of “stolen laptops” and unapproved debit of US$2 million, both from the Ebola Emergency Response Project; while the rest came from other unapproved debits from the Liberia Social Safety Nets Project under the Ministry of Health (US$500.000); Public Sector Modernization Project (US$500,000); Liberia Forest Sector Project under the FDA (US$200,000) and the Liberia Urban Water Supply Project (US$50,000).

The letter, signed by Dr. Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Liberia, Africa Region, said: “We refer to the letter on the Ineligible Expenditure of the above projects, dated on February 7, 2019, and your reply on February 28, 2019.

“Therefore, we are concerned that the reply only came to us on the refund deadline date, February 28, 2019. This, notwithstanding, we take note of the proposal to extend the deadline to March 31, 2019. We will extend the same in our system, and consequently urge that you meet the revised set deadline,” the letter said.

It further added, “We also note your request to replenish the project accounts with the amounts that were ineligible on this request; we would like to bring to your attention that once the refunds are declared ineligible and invoices issued; the only option for the government is to refund the money to the banking details provided in the invoices.

“Further, we also note that the Government of Liberia (GoL) has started replenishing the project accounts with sums of money amounting to US$100,000, $200,000 and $50,000, respectively for Public Sector Modernization Project (P143064) credit IDA 53590, Liberia Forest Sector Project (P154114) credit or TF A2427 and Liberia Urban Water Project (P155947) credit IDA 57740.

“We wish to emphasize that this is non-compliant with the instructions as per the expenditures amount in line with the respective issued invoices to refund the total ineligible expenditures amount in line with the respective issued invoices as attached to our original to our original letter dated February 7, 2019. Upon receipt, refunds made to the World Bank will be credited to the respective Financing Accounts,” the letter added.

The letter continues, “This is to request you refund to the World Bank the amounts totaling US$3,285,750 for the reported ineligible expenditure by making a payment back to the bank through details that are provided in the invoices attached to this letter and confirm the refund on or before March 31, 2019. Should your team have any questions relating to the invoices, please contact [email protected]

“We look forward to receiving the refunds within the specified time frame avoid the World Bank invoking the remedies stipulated in the applicable financing agreements of each project.”

Although the ministry is yet to respond to bank’s request for the money in question, the Minister of Information on Thursday, told a news conference in Monrovia that the Government strategy, under its Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, is to borrow, money under the scheme: “Dig hole, cover hole,” a Liberian parlance, which means to borrow money from different accounts to fulfill its obligations to an unrelated accounts payable.

20 COMMENTS

  1. President Weah, your finance minister continues to be an embarrassment. He’s a major factor for the protest

  2. I also believe its better to Dialogue than to protest as President Ellen is saying? Why? Just look at how people burned down their country; calling it civil war? Look at how the leaders are thinking and doing things?
    Check the logic in our thinking accross the whole country?

    I have to state this:
    I have also seen the opposition (4 parties, etc) do not also have the resumes (KniowHow, Skillset, etc) to move Liberia’s economy higher. Its is your right to demonstrate but you do not have the solutions either. With that said, the confusion of the Liberian people is going in a circle; the Devil’s Circle; never ending.
    This can only be stopped by empowering the people with the needed skills.

    Economy = Work.= good Work. This is only possible by creating industries and Export. Who in Liberia has any skillset in those areas.

    Well, Liberian selected George Weah for 6 years. During the election basically most Liberian said education was not important? They were wrong forever; education is always very important.
    If you are not educated, you could be cheated by the millions in all projects; everything; everything!

    God bless our country.

    • Sir, you are dead wrong as I responded to you in one of your posts, it is not only the oppositions, or members of those parties that will work in gov’t, have you studied the caliber of professionals that our country has? It is Weah and Co; who because of their vindictiveness have decided not to bring these qualified and experienced individuals on board to work with him, simply because they did not identified with them, during their years in opposition, so you can say that we do not have the educated people to do so and the country is running in a circle.

      • I am not against your Demonstration but caution.

        I know the caliber of the Liberian professionals better than you and most people.

        I went to Germany on a Mechanical Engineering Scholarship. I knew almost all the Engineering and Physics students; we were not many. Education did practically stopped in 1980; the country went down.

        I knew all those politician that came through LU since 1978 when I entered as a physics student. They had similar Skill sets as Cummings; can create 100,000 jobs in 90-days?, “When they come to power, things will change for the best quickly”.
        We have hear this since 1978 or earlier.
        We should now start presenting others that are competitive for the world market; I am presenting myself at least.

        I am still in the active advance Engineering and computing now. Most of my friends in Liberia didn’t have the means to practice out of Liberia. It is people like me/us who should bring the truth about what is out here to them. This can only happened if we are empowered by the Liberian people.

        I know 100% where Liberia is coming from and where she is at the moment. She is not moving in the direction of any international standard. Education including Engineering, Science, etc are all dead.

        I will not be politically correct to you or anyone but speak my experience. You do not know what you are taking about. Try getting a job at least from the USA which is similar to what you studied?

        We need someone who is well placed in these areas to move the country forward. Cumming is more like a management person; not an engineer or builder, etc.

        This is how things should have been arranged or planned:
        1) Start the peace and create rules: Ellen and Boikia did that but they should have done more.

        2) Rebuilding the country. Engineers, MDs, Technician, Nurses, Educators, Industrial Economists, etc should have taken this phase but Liberian decided education was NOT important. But this still has to take place.

        3) Management. Maybe Cummings and others can come here after step 2.

        God bless Liberia.

  3. “Dig hole to cover hole.” This is high grade corruption. You need not dig hole to cover hole. You have to live within budgetary allocations and do the right thing. “Dig hole to cover hole” is a recipe for corruption, and that is why our country under George Weah is backward and a disgrace. As soon as we rid ourselves of this uneducated man, Liberia will again gain its rightful place among the comity of nations. Socrates once said: “He who knows not that he knows not, is a fool”. Weah is indeed a stupid fool. The sooner we rid ourselves of this buffoon, the better it will be for our country.

    • You can only do that during the 2023 elections if think you are politically strong enough. The crisis method won’t work this time.

      • The bad economy today can be blamed on our negligence to get rooted into agricultural life. Liberia imports everything including pepper from Guinea for example. By purchasing $10 LD pepper for your household daily food, our economy loose $52m USD to Guinea annually. We can only save Liberia by taking agriculture very serious because the aid givers are putting up big bluffs today.

  4. “He who knows not, and knows NOT that he knows not,is a fool, shun him”, was a poem by the Chinese philosopher and politician, Confucius, NOT SOCRATES old man Momo.
    Sr. Engineer Peter Curran, as much as I agree with you at the end of your comment, I disagree that the 4 political parties do not have the resumes (know how, skills, etc) to run the country.
    After the Ellen led-government, we needed just the platform proposed by Cummings. But as Liberians have their own yardstick in determining who should rule them, they settle down for Weah.
    We will all smell the heat for the 6 years and after, we will think twice on the decision to make when voting next time.
    Why is the CDC led government seeking expertise from everywhere to do things? I thought you said you never needed book people, that the book people have failed Liberia. Why are you looking for them now? We will smell that rat for 6 years. Be patient, he’s not even gone 2 years yet. Let’s tighten our belt.

    May God behold Liberia from another carnage and dictatorship, Amen!

    • Interesting, serious and legitimate concerns, but laughable in the sense that, it speaks truth to realities.

  5. Information Minister Nagbe made the inference Under the headline, “Dig Hole, Cover Hole,” meaning that a person can transfer a donor government’s money that was given for a specific project to a non-tangential project and refund the amount later.

    He backed his position by stating that past administrations had been involved in such inappropriate financial practices, and they were considered okay; so, it was therefore ligit for the Weah’s government to continue similar pattern fearing no consequences.

    Wasn’t it one of the reasons that Liberians ushered in a new administration because they needed change, and so they felt that the CDC leadership could deliver it?

    He went on to state that, ““The only problem here is that the donors do not like the way it is done since the process is against international best practices.

    But if the process is against international best practices, then why must it be allowed to continue?

    When will this administration be able to stand on its own feet, make its own decision, and set its own benchmark by creating and measuring its own performance against a backdrop of failures and successes without attempting to shift its blame on past administrations?

    And so what I gather from these two headlines: “Dig Hole, Cover Hole” and “World Bank Demands US $3.285 from Samuel Tweh,” is that Liberians should brace themselves because like the saying goes, “They are in for the long haul.” And as far as this administration is concerned, nothing will change in Liberia substantively; developments under Weah will be characterized by a continuation of more social woes.

    However, these negative trends may not continue inconsequentially as donor organizations could revert to the imposition of sanctions and embargoes on Liberia; and, if this becomes the case, I wonder what the fate of the poor huddled masses will be.

  6. Why is government making it very difficult by the day for people to define them. Two wrong cannot make a right. Donor’s fund redirection to dubious deals is totally unexpectible. Why shame your supporters.

  7. How we got here my people? Did God really turn his back on Liberia? Did Liberians made another mistake? Is Liberia going in front or behind? Sometimes I feel Liberia is not going nowhere… Is sad too sad.

  8. The facts really remained, and that is, the CDC led administration underestimated the role of leadership, not withstanding the mechanism to structure a functional government hence leading to bunch of syndicates from within their social group called CDC. They dismissed qualified professionals Liberians set in palaces
    By the Ellen administration, only to be replaced by their social group members term CDC. The librarians voters choose popularity rather than leadership and being popular don’t necessarily qualified one leadership ability. I totally disagree that, the 4 oppositions don’t have the necessary skills to governed better than Weah led administration. Yes! Indeed, there are qualified Liberians folks out there but because they are not CDCians or social group affiliates, they refused to bring them on board to help this is exactly what you get once you tried governing a country like a social club. Until president Weah realized & understand that, many people surrounding him are not competent and are misleading him to nowhere, the vast majority of Liberians will be the one to paid the cost. Sooner or later if things don’t change, donors countries in partnership with Liberia will freeze funding to Liberia meaning, lots of development projects will be gone. For now, all Liberians can pray for is hope. J. Ark

  9. Fransco Dutor states :”You can only do that (move Weah)during the 2023 elections if you think you are politically strong enough. The crisis method won’t work this time.” My brother, Politics is the art of the possible. It is not an exact science. In politics, anything can happen. Even a simple protest or demonstration can escalate and remove regimes. That’s why governments are afraid of “Demonstrations.” Keep that in the back of your head. “Power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority. They have the right to remove same……” if the government is not doing the right things for the people, they will not wait for 2023. That’s why in politics 2+3 could be 9.

  10. These are all ligitimate and very serious concerns. I hope Liberians are pragmatic in selecting leaders, next to come.
    We are only referring to Weah which I said was a big, a serious mistake. Liberians would kill you if you said anything against Weah even people who I know should have been smart. “Why”!!!
    The Ligislators of our country are bunch of thieves and dump law-makers.
    We are a democratic nation and they are making a dictator. Less educated leaders always don’t relinquished power, history should be our friend. They are unproductive. Where are legislations that should better the country? #Corruption is the order of time why people die and go hungry.
    Acarous Gray enticed a county administrator for her to join him share county development funds and you still voted for him to be representative.
    Liberia is out of leaders.
    Weah and cdc did not present a platform of where they will take the country, what they will do for country, how they will do it, when they hope to achieve what they intend to do and the way to get us there. But you were singing, “Education is not important”.
    CDC did not attend debates for their so called leaders to explain to us how they will steer the state of affairs.
    I agree over 85% of our voting population is illiterate, we the light headed ones should have think it through and insist that our recipe of bringing Weah and cdc who do not know governance is not promising.
    Liberians love, “You never try you never know.” This saying is not scientifically proven. My people we are beyond the twenty-first century.
    Life has evolved. Technology rules the world and in no time, you can find out life #REALITY.
    We saw it but refused to get smart about it. What was Weah and cdc report card the two years he was senator?
    In all former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the root of this state of crisis today.
    Her selfish aim and poor leadership she shown at the end of her administration got us here.
    Do we need for her to tell us to dialogue now? I don’t think so. She was very much unpatriotic to the country. I respect her but she did the nation a massive disservice and it hurts, it really, really hurt.
    Liberia the future will be promising if we elect the right leaders. We have lost our identity and our stand among the international community.
    Now we know, “Education pays, the world has evolved.” Let’s get smarter and I know Liberians are. We need to make the right choices about the kind of leaders we elect.
    Well, I don’t know if this make sense. I hope it does.

  11. Darn….why the two most vocal George Weah supporters on this site just gone quiet on all this stealing by the George Weah government…

  12. Flomo Smith,
    Will it be possible for you to identify “the two most vocal George Weah supporters”? Come on. Identity them.

  13. I once again about to make my observations: EJS was really a disservice to our country. She knew it, that was the reason why she abandoned the party that kept her in power for twelve years during last few months of her administration. Supported CDC knowingly, this administration is not able dig out her dirts that were leaving behind. Did you see Ma Ellen did not invite Pop Boakai to the 86 kilometers Road project ceremony she had in Bing county. Instead she invited WEAH for the win. One mean reason, complete exenoration of her past. ( Not a sermon, just a thought)

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