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Saturday, July 13, 2024

CORRUPTION IN LIBERIA “MAN-MADE PLAGUE” – SAYS US AMBASSADOR MCCARTHY  

Date:

MONROVIA – US Ambassador to Liberia Michael A. McCarthy says there is only a man-made plague that holds back Liberia’s development today, stating the plague is corruption. According to Amb. McCarthy, corruption has been a part of Liberian society for over 200 years.

Speaking on Tuesday, March 14, at a press roundtable occasion, primarily for US Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Richard Nephew and USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director Shannon Green, to interact with Liberian journalists, Amb. McCarthy stated once corruption is a fully-established way of doing business, it is very difficult to remove.

“… anyone draws a conclusion that I am favoring one political party over another, or one administration above another, let me be perfectly clear – corruption in Liberia is far too ingrained and pervasive to pretend it could be that isolated.”

Amb. McCarthy compared Liberia and Singapore’s early formation in the 1960s and how that nation managed to change things around to have a per capita Gross Domestic Product that is now more than 130 times higher than Liberia.

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Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Richard Nephew

He continued: “Singapore, with only 270 square miles of land, virtually no natural resources, and with a population almost the same size as Liberia’s, had a reputation in the early 1960s as one of the poorest, most corrupt countries in Asia. Singapore’s per capita Gross Domestic Product in 1960 was $428.”

“Today, Singapore is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, and its per capita Gross Domestic Product in 2022 had risen to $82,794. In comparison, Liberia’s per capita Gross Domestic Product in 2022 was $630. How did this happen? Did they win the lottery? Was it by chance or coincidence? No. One of the primary reasons for the phenomenal success of Singapore is that they decided corruption would no longer be accepted as a normal part of life,” said Amb. McCarthy.

The US diplomat added like most Liberians, he dreams of a better Liberia, stressed, “One where labor regulations are enforced uniformly without prejudice, and not for personal manipulation or political gain; one where all legislators appropriate funds to a Ministry without the expectation of kickbacks.”

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USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director Shannon Green

He continued: “One where all Ministers negotiate on behalf of what is best for the country, not on the basis of what funds are being paid directly to them; one where public appropriations are distributed as the legislature directed them – not in a random or weaponized fashion determined by individuals; one where schools have no ghost employees and are supplied with the actual number of teachers on their payroll.”

The US diplomat also indicated, “One where donated medicine is actually available free of charge to the poorest of the poor in public health facilities throughout the country.  Liberia can be this country. Just as in Singapore, it is within the power of the Liberian people to make this happen. You can do it!”

Also at the press occasion, in separate remarks on the US Government’s global fight against corruption, State Department’s Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Richard Nephew and USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director Shannon Green, emphasized that, in Liberia, the US Government wants to see more vigorous actions in Liberia’s anti-corruption fight.

The two US diplomats, who were visiting Liberia for the last few days, gave their views on how they think Liberians think of allegedly corrupt individuals. “It is our view that the people of Liberia are interested that individuals accused of corruption are brought before law to answer to allegations levied against them,” Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Nephew said. IPNEWS 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I agree with Ambassador Mcarthy on this one!

    Corruption has been endemic since 200 years!
    All of the branches of government are corrupt!
    Labor regulatory lapses are willfully orchestrated to benefit cryonism! If the Justice minister himself is a drug addict, how enforceably could the laws become?
    Government is the way of wealth in Liberia for the few!

    The US Government must stop corruption in Liberia! It’s simple, amend the Magnitsky Sanctions Act to complement global prosecutorial powers of the United States and deport families of corrupt Liberian officials from the US and repatriate their stolen wealth to a trusteeship Liberian Capital!

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