President George Manneh Weah
Liberians are calling on President George Weah to set up a special panel to investigate the recent fiasco in the so-called rice subsidy scheme.
The rice subsidy issue has been marred by secrecy until Smart News broke the news. The wrongful manner in which the subsidy scheme was dealt with, caused a shortage of the commodity on the local market.
Rice is Liberia’s staple food. The subsidy was secretly handled by three of Pres. Weah’s officials- Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, Commerce Minister Mawaine Diggs, and now disgraced former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill.
The three individuals were said to have injected funds in the national budget that were approved by the National Legislature for subsidies to rice importers in the country, but that said funds or all the funds did not reach the rice importers, according to sources familiar with the issue.
Just today, the Minister of Agriculture Madam Jennice Cooper, informed the Liberian Senate that she does not know anything about any US$11 million appropriated in the FY-2022 recast budget for rice subsidy or importation and she was not a part of it.
A random interview done with some Liberians in Monrovia recently revealed the anger of Liberians on how the three Weah officials handled the rice subsidy issue.
They called on the Liberian leader to appoint an independent team of Liberians drawn from different professional sectors of the country to investigate the scandal-to find out how much was earmarked in total for the subsidies, how the funds were allegedly apportioned and what method was derived to allot the funds; and to find out those involved in the scandal and recommend appropriate punishment for anyone found to be culpable.