MICAT Boss Upbeat About 100-day deliverables -Confirms Bad Blood Between Two LDEA Officials

MONROVIA: The Minister of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Jerolinmek Mathew Piah, has spoken a wide range of governance issues including conviction that the promised deliverables of the Unity Party regime’s first 100 days in office will be executed as planned.


Speaking Tuesday, April 16, 2024, during MICAT’s regular press briefing, Mr. Piah spoke highly of the anticipation of the government to showcase its 100-day deliverables promised the Liberian people.

He said there will be some documentaries printed including the resumption of the New Liberia Newspaper and other special publications that will highlight the achievements of the Joseph Nyuma Boakai administration.

“So, you people have been asking for the timeline and we are conscious of the timeline,” he told journalists at the press briefing. “We are on course for the 100 day deliverables.”

Bad Blood at LDEA

Amidst the reported frosty relationship existing between the Director General of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), Abraham Kromah and his Deputy for Operations, Hassan Fadiga, Piah stated that President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has expressed displeasure over the situation and has taken seize of the matter.

The information minister said the government is preoccupied with achieving 100 day deliverables promised the Liberian people and would not entertain distraction.

Describing the situation at LDEA as worrisome and a distraction, Piah said such occurrence is the least that should be happening in the government as “we promised the Liberian people to rescue the country from where it was and we are committed to it; not to cause distraction”.

Minister Piah said further: “The President’s attention has been drawn to media reports about what is happening at the LDEA. The thinking of the President is that government ministries and agencies should work in line with the agenda of the rescue mission; that the officials of government will work together because the mission is to deliver to the people. We cannot do that when officials are working at cross purpose.”

He said that the situation has caught the attention of the President whose focus is to deliver to the Liberian people promises made during the election, and he “has taken seize of the matter and whatever is the case, the issue will be resolved very soon”

“The President has taken serious note on the matter because we do not have time for distraction. We have time for work because we told the Liberian people that our mission is to rescue the people. We said we came to rescue and therefore we must hold to that commitment,”

He said it is incumbent upon every employee of government to decide working for the Liberian people or stay away from the service of the Liberian people “since you will not work for them”.

Fight Against Corruption

Minister Piah used the press briefing to also speak extensively about the need to purge corruption from public service, making reference to the statement made by the Director of USAID Liberia, Jim Wright, who was reported as saying that about 90% of drugs donated in the country ended up in private hospitals and pharmacies around the country.

“We followed the statement of the USAID Director, Jim Wright, about drugs donated to the country ending up being stolen and the public cannot get drugs when they go to the hospitals,” Piah noted.

“And if it is because of these things that services are not provided in our hospitals and are brought to the attention of the government, then we will have to act and act decisively,” he said.

He thanked the USAID Director for “raising these red flags” especially when a call has been made to the government to take action and prosecute those who are involved in “these acts of corruption”.

He termed it as unpatriotic for people to work against the common good of the people for their selfish interest, signaling a stern warning that the days are numbered for those who are perpetrating such acts.

“If your goal is not to serve the public interest, but you want to use the public space to enrich yourselves, you are miscalculating,” he added. “Be aware that you will be held accountable very soon.”

“The good thing is that Mr. Wright called on us to  begin to prosecute them and we will not fall short of that and so for those who are found to be in this ugly act, we want to warn you, that we are coming after you”, Piah warned

Speaking further about  on corruption, he zoomed in on what he called “the abandonment of MICAT” despites millions of offshore money budgeted annually with no impact in the infrastructure of the institution.

According to him, projects that the Ministry should have carried on to enhance the promotion and dissemination of the policies and activities of the government were not done.

He said he inherited a ministry that was like an abandoned place but quick to state that he was not putting himself on record by blaming any particular Minister or leadership at MICAT at any particular point in time because “in some cases, it was an intentional decision by the central government not to support someone who was appointed to do the job and the person could not perform”.

Piah said in line with the general urge for accountability, he wants the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to undertake a forensic audit of MICAT to unravel the mystery of the huge funds that were budgeted for the Ministry but there are no impacts to justify why such amount was approved in the first place.

Taking the 2022 fiscal year for an example, Piah who had also served at the Ministry as a Deputy Minister for Public Affairs, said the Ministry developed its own budget at USD2.1m, “and for some reasons after the passage of the budget, it became USD6.2m”.

“Out of that USD6.2m, they said goods and services came to USD3.8m. What constitutes the goods and services? You sit in this hall but when LEC takes current, you cannot sit in this hall, no generator. None of the deputy ministers who worked in this ministry for the past 6 years had car besides the minister proper.

He said: “When you go outside and look at the building, it does not look like someone who spent USD3.8 million on this building. So, these are some of the red flags we are raising that there must be an audit to know where the money went.”

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