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|Avoiding the Missteps - Suggested 2013 Resolution for GOL||| Print ||
|Written by FPA Editorial Team|
|Monday, 17 December 2012 20:00|
AS WE BID farewell to 2012, Liberians remain trapped in a time warped of poor governance, bad and corrupt officials both appointed and elected, who continue to put their interests ahead of the interest of the Republic of Liberia.
FOR SEVERAL YEARS now, we have heard and reported stories about how one official after the next have sought to profit from at the taxpayers’ expense, appointing relatives to government positions and giving contracts under the table to close friends and associates.
THE END result has meant that the government has been unable to perform at the level it is supposed to because ineffective people are being hired and appointed to position they cannot perform.
AS WE head into 2013, we hope that government ministries and agencies will adopt a country first approach in whatever task or undertaking they embark on in the interest of Liberia.
FOR TOO Long now, the issue of corruption has dominated the airwaves and has been hurting Liberia’s image on the international scene. This has to stop.
OVER THE PAST year in particular, the Global concession watchdog, Global Witness, unearthed massive discrepancies in the acquiring and the use of Private User Permits (PUP) in Liberia. PUP is a certificate issued to logging companies, allowing them to directly enter into contract with private landowners on which land the company is expected to fell (cut down) logs.
THE GROUP said “the way in which the permits were awarded was in complete violation of the country’s Community Rights Law, and as such, they suspected forgery, as well as systematic disregard for due-process in the allocation of PUPs.
THE REPORT NOTED: “While Liberia’s other large logging Licenses have requirements meant to improve the sustainability of logging operations, PUP can be used to entirely clear large areas of forest. Evidence revealed by our investigations show that at least one company–Atlantic Resources, linked to Malaysian logging giant Samling has the intention of clearing forest areas after logging them.”
The report also stated that other disadvantages of Private Use Permits include a lack of competitive bidding, lower tax contributions to the government than under either a Forest Management Contract or a Timber Sale Contract and no minimum level of revenue to be paid to landowners. “Since 2010 there has been a huge increase in the number of Private Use Permits issued. Although government reports vary, recent information suggests that there are now some 66 Private Use Permits covering 26,000 km2 of Liberia’s territory – almost a quarter of the entire country,” Global Witness revealed.
DURING THE COURSE of the year, Liberia, like previous years have had to deal with one international scandal after the other deriving from among other things, corruption, nepotism or some official involved in sex scandal or scheming investors through secret emails.
WE HOPE that the coming year would see officials taking a new approach and seriously reconsidering how they conduct themselves on behalf of the government.
LIBERIA IS IN dire need of an economic resurgence and a new chapter void of the side distractions which led the nation down a spiral scope in the past year, and the one before.
WE CAN NO longer afford to continue to tread the path we have taken over the past six years. Things need to change and so does our minds, attitudes and our approach to government.
LIBERIANS are in desperate need of something great to unfold domestically. Continued reports of corruption, nepotism and greed is not in the interest of any Liberian but those occupying positions and angling for a big score on the backs of innocent taxpayers.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 02:39|