Home Governance Ledgerhood To Resign? …As Gov’t Cut-Off PR Funds

Ledgerhood To Resign? …As Gov’t Cut-Off PR Funds

by News Manager

MONROVIA: It appears that things are not fine at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) due to the apparent lack of funding to this once vibrant Home of the Journalists in Liberia.

MICAT with some of best brains and professional journalists in Liberia seems to be forgotten by the power-that-be, something that is creating apprehension among employees and staff at the Ministry.
Authoritative sources at MICAT hinted this paper that government spokesman, Information Minister Ledgerhood Julius Rennie is considering quitting or resigning as Minister.

Asked why, our sources said the Minister Rennie is somehow disappointed and frustrated over the lack of needed support to do his job as Information Minister.

One source clearly stated that President George Manneh Weah Public Relations is ‘very poor’ because, according to him, MICAT is unfunded in the management and dissemination state information, and as such, there is no proper state information coordination.

Our source added that if Minister Resigns, it would be difficult for the President to recruit such a multi-dimensional media personality like Minister Rennie who understands the inner working of the media community.
Moreover, since the incumbency of President George Manneh Weah in 2018, his public relations has been marred with what critics say disjointed and confused information dissemination; due to several persons with little or no knowledge about information management speaking on every national issues.
Our sources said MICAT has been sidelined in the National Budget as a professional entity, responsible to speak and defend the Liberian government at all times.

Our sources cited the Ministry’s current 2022 National Budget as disgrace, where there is no “General Allowance, Special Allowance and worst of all “Professional Allowance for journalists who tirelessly work around the clock to inform the world about happenings in Liberia as it relates to government developmental programs and projects as well as maintaining the peace through democratic governance.

For instance, our sources noted that MICAT annual budget is US$2,433,008 for fiscal year 2022 with employees’ salaries amounting to US$2, 128,802 while US$62,355 is approved for Goods and Services.
In the same budget, there is no allotment approved for Government Public Relations and media services, our sources disclosed. It only has the Operational Budget of US$17,200 for the entire 2022.

However, the projected budget for MICAT in 2023 is more disappointing that the Ministry’s budget was reduced to US$2,354,421, with a variance of US$78,587 sliced. The Ministry’s proposed budget for crucial elections year in 2023 is cut, as Liberians prepare to elect new leadership for the country.

Incumbent President Weah is contesting his second-term bid in line with 1986 Constitution of Liberia. He has serious political task when he faces former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, opposition leaders Alexander Benedict Cummings and Tiawon Saye Gongloe among others.

When The ‘Investigative’ INDEPENDENT’ contacted Minister Rennie’s office on Capitol Hill, his aide said the Minister is not in the country. The Aide told our staff writer that since he (Minister Rennie) traveled for United Nations General Assembly, he is yet to return home.

Also making efforts to speak with the Minister via mobile phone did not materialize as his phone said to be swift off up to press time on Sunday, October 9, 2022.

The Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism was established by law on May 11, 1972 and statutorily charged with the responsibility of developing and disseminating factual information about Liberia at home and abroad. The Ministry is also tasked with promoting national cultural and tourism values through various cultural groups and tourism centers.

MICAT objectives for the (FY2022) is to “disseminate GoL Information services; Regulate media houses; Advocate support for increased GoL assistance to community radio stations; and Promote, support, regulate and enhance the cultural and tourism programs locally and internationally.

Interestingly too, the National Budget of MICAT (FY2021) says “No information provided by spending entity,” (MICAT) on its activities. Investigation continues.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment