MONROVIA- A collection of Liberia Anti-Corruption Statutes has been launched by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), the National Chapter of Transparency International (TI).
The Book compiled all anti-corruption legislations in Liberia into a single book for easy access by researchers and the people of Liberia.
Dubbed “A Compendium of Anti-Corruption Statutes”, the initial draft of the Handbook was validated in May of this year at an event attended by diverse stakeholders in Monrovia, including but not limited to representatives from government, civil society, media, private sector, and public integrity institutions.
The initiative was made possible by CENTAL with support from the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Officially launching the book Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia, the Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden, Johan Romare, said it was a laudable venture for CENTAL to work with other national stakeholders/partners to undertake such an innovative initiative that will further enhance the fight against corruption in Liberia.
He said the Government of Sweden through its Embassy in Monrovia cherishes its partnership with CENTAL as the Organization continues to play very critical role in the fight against corruption and integrity in Liberia.
“Sweden is very happy to partner with CENTAL. We know that CENTAL is playing very important role in the fight against corruption in Liberia,” Mr. Romare said.
In remarks earlier, the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission (LRC), Counsellor Boakai N. Kanneh said the compendium is a very useful tool for the fight against corruption as it allows auditors, investigators, and other actors to easily access different laws from a single document.
Cllr. Kanneh thanked CENTAL for the compilation exercise and called on anti-graft institutions and stakeholders to use the book to inform their works and research activities. He called on the Government of Liberia to muster the political will in the fight against corruption in the country.
“There must be political will in the fight against corruption; mere pronouncements are not sufficient…” Cllr. Kanneh noted.
The Law Reform Commission Chairman also blasted members of the 54th National Legislature for allocating US$30,000.00 to themselves for “legislative engagement projects” with absolutely no instituted mechanism for transparency and accountability.
In separate remarks, representatives of Public Integrity Institutions and civil society organizations at the ceremony lauded CENTAL for the compilation as it will help to further enhance their works.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CENTAL, Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner paid special tribute to the Government and people of Sweden for their continuous support not only to CENTAL, but to the Government of Liberia through different projects and programmes.
Cllr. Warner also lauded the Government of Liberia through the different integrity institutions and civil society organizations for their partnership with CENTAL over the years.
“We (CENTAL) don’t just condemn and criticize, but we foster partnership; we support and help solve problems,” the CENTAL Board Chairman said.
Cllr. Warner, who is also the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia (UL), also described the disbursement of US$30,000.00 to lawmakers as ‘official corruption’ and encouraged civil society organizations in the country to challenge the legitimacy of the process before the Supreme Court of Liberia.
The NIBA program is a 3.5-year program funded by the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) that is engaging every sector of the Liberian society to increase citizens’ awareness and understanding of corruption and other related issues and to demand for accountability at all levels. Engagements are being held at the community level as well as with national government. It covers seven counties – Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Montserrado.