Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei

The persistent reports of financial improprieties at the nation’s regulatory bank (CENTRAL BANK) must claim the attention of President Sirleaf’s Administration.
This has become necessary given the negative consequences that may follow should the authorities fail to act decisively and promptly.

A year has gone in the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy which is tied among other things to economic revitalization backed by a prudent fiscal management system in order to restore domestic as well as international credibility. It is only the irrational people or put it bluntly “mad” people that would invest their monies in a spoilt system.

The recent actions by the management of the Central Bank led by Mills Jones have caused lots of embarrassment to this Government and steps must be taken to save our country from such unacceptable negligence in our banking system. The fundamental question that was not addressed in a hastily arranged press conference by the Bank management was ‘why did the management ignore the Executive Order #3’ which specifies the procedures involve inter-banks transactions. The assertion by the Bank Governor that he personally detected the fraud in the transfer of over 1million Dollars from the Central Bank to ECOBANK is yet, another charade meant to save a badly managed situation.

This should not be the end of the story but rather a clue to a saga that continues to erode the credibility of Central Bank and if not nib bed in the bud could spread across our entire banking system. It is clear that what we have witnessed at the Central Bank in recent times is antithetical to what is being preached by the current Administration. Right from the onset, President Sirleaf declared war on corruption and numerous attempts by the President to discourage people from engaging in corrupt practices and to sanitize the system. Yet, it would appear that in the absence of stringent measures including instant dismissal, this menace would continue to pull us back into the ugly past that brought us to this point.

Indeed, the public is anxiously watching to see what steps would be taken against those whose actions or inaction have caused such humiliating situations for our principal financial institutions namely the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance. In any case, the decision to charge the board with the responsibility to opine on the fate of the Deputy Governor is unnecessary since the case involved is criminal in nature, the matter be referred to the relevant security apparatus for proper investigation and then forward those that would be found culpable to court for trial and possible prosecution.

It may be necessary here to point out that any attempts to down play this criminally and deliberately executed plan, would send out a wrong signal that this Administration is paying a lip service to fighting corruption a charge that has been persistently denied by this Government. Would President Sirleaf act and now?

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