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Saturday, July 20, 2024

HAS PRESIDENT BOAKAI’S GOVERNMENT BEGUN BEARING GOOD FRUITS? (PART1)

Date:

By Jacob N.B. Parley

Following a careful reflection, I have once more taken a decision to begin running my series of opinions intended to take a professional and nationalistic look at issues that matter a lot regarding the transformation of Liberia through worthy and prudent policy measures by the current government, under the stewardship astute Liberian politician and statesman, Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

I started running these publications in several local dailies during the administration of President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf, focusing on wide range of issues. For instance, governance, development, politics, the environment, Liberia’s interactions with the global community, the media, etc.

At the top of these publications is to highlight key policy measures taken   to move Liberia ahead and to equally underscore factors that could undermine the gains being made by successive administrations of Liberia.  At the end of President Sirleaf’s twelve year rule, I recall publishing over twenty five media opinions of this nature, touching the construction/rehabilitation of damaged roads, bridges, Liberia’s image building efforts, tolerance from the perspective of religion and politics, etc.

As a journalist who is always interested in seeing Liberia reach an appreciable level of transformation through cautious decisions by those in leadership, I have never had a drawback in contributing to national renewal and growth through constructive engagements.  My love for dear country has therefore been demonstrated through the speeches delivered at programs while serving as guest speaker over twenty times during the past two decades.

With this nationalistic concentration, I continued with the publications up to the inception of the CDC-led government under the stewardship of President George M. Weah. It was during this time I decided to use, as official title for the publications, (“President Weah’s Government Begins Bearing Good Fruits?).

I was also able to publish over ten of these media thoughts before stopping, based on advice from some professional colleagues that what I was taking to be a good idea was gradually putting me into trouble while working at ELBC.  “Parley, we are hearing that those who are responsible for public affairs-related matters of this nature at ELBC (Liberia Broadcasting System) and the Information Ministry are distraught with your writings because it’s like you want to take somebody’s job,” said three of my colleagues at separate times.

Unfortunately for my detractors, my love for Liberia goes beyond appointment in government, especially undermining others to take their daily bread from their mouth.  Not that I am not qualify or lack the competence. Please reflect on the Liberian phraseology: “Luck Pass Fine.”

On the other hand, there were other people from in and outside of LBS who wanted me undertake this form of education (feature writings) by means of a radio or TV program.  It was like these people knew what I had on mind, except that they did not know that all the radio and TV programs proposed by me for presentation were placed on the shelve while similar programs, especially coming from young reporters, some of whom were   being supervised be some of us in the newsroom were approved with what is locally referred to as “4G” speed.

The only time I had the opportunity of running a TV program at LBS was during Mr.  Charles Alexander Snetter’s administration (“Reflection on Society”).

It was during Mr. Snetter’s administration that I had the opportunity to interview current Liberian President, Joseph N. Boakai between 2007-2008, touching on his work at the YMCA, etc, I was also privileged to have done an exclusive with Dr. Sakui Malakpai, a visually impaired US-based Liberian who, at the time was teaching all vision courses at the Toledo University in the United States. Mr. Malapkai was invited to serve as National Orator during the 2008 Independence Day, if my memory serves me well.  It was Mr. Snetter who recommended that all these interviews be done by me.

Deployment of IAA Staff At Ministry of State

Now that I have tried as fairly as possible to provide an abridgement about why I started this work many years back, why I stopped at certain point and decided to resume once again, it is now advisable that I go to the particular issue I want to discuss in Part 1 of the new publications.

If what I read in FrontPage Africa’s June 12, 2024 Edition is anything to go by, then I am exceedingly touched by the decision by Liberian Chief Executive, Joseph Boakai to invite the Internal Audit Agency to deploy an internal auditor at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.

Based on the publication, the auditor   will be responsible for supervising, directing and controlling all activities relating to internal audit at the Ministry.

The Local daily is quoting   what it has described as an internal memorandum from the Ministry, said to be under the signature of the Deputy Minister of Administration at the Ministry of States and Presidential Affairs, Atty. Cornelia Kruah-Togba.

Following this great development, the Internal Audit Agency’s work was to begin on June 10, 2024. It is also reported that all heads of department at the Ministry have been urged to cooperate with the IAA staff while the work is being carried out.

The Internal Audit Agency was established in 2013, and it is reported that the IAA did not succeed in having any auditor dispatched to the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs to conduct any financial examination of activities there, owing largely to what is termed as lack of the required political will by past administrations. In accordance with Part 2 Section 2.2(a) of the 2013 IAA Act, the agency is clothed with the responsibility to institute   and direct internal audit-related functions at all branches of government, (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary).

Public sector  institutions such as, autonomous agencies and commissions, public corporations, the Central Bank of Liberia and government ministries are supposed to  be examined by the IAA as part of its work.

Indeed, the decision by the Joseph Nyuma Boakai-led leadership is welcoming because it borders on the issue of transparency and accountability, especially in a society that has been affected by corruption for many years. I have heard from knowledgeable people in society that a leader leads by example, by this the followers will see the way and do likewise. Truly, leading by example is a major expression of the political will to get things done, no matter who is involved, especially with the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs housing the Liberian Presidency.

When I was in grade school, one of our principals always began disciplinary measures against late comers, including issues of misconduct with his own children before other people’s children. With that open example, we all knew that once the principal dealt with his own children in such a way, he was definitely not going to allow the rest of us to have a free ride in terms of lateness, bad conduct, poor academic performance, etc.

Your Excellency, I do know that this may not address all the daunting challenges affecting our country’s growth and development from time to time. However, reflecting on the aphorism that a journey of thousand miles begins with the first step, this decision, to me is not just the first step toward openness in governance, but it equally sets the bar to a point where every other entity of government will see the clear writing on the wall and do what is legally required as far as issues accountability, transparency and compliance are concerned to avoid the unexpected, if I may guess.

About the author:

Jacob Parley is a Liberian media professional, with over twenty-five years of extensive practice, both print and electronic. He is a Former Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia, Former News Director; Editor-in-Chief, Executive Mansion Correspondent, etc. (Liberia Broadcasting System). He earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Modern Development Diplomacy from the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, carries over ten journalism certificates, two of which were earned from the People’s Republic of China, etc. He’s reachable through: jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com/jacobnbparley1@gmail.comContacts: +231777604576/886560455 WhatsApp: +231881336137

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