By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah
MONROVIA: Three leading Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), and Integrity Watch Liberia (IW-Liberia), have unanimously given their support to calls for the President-elect and Vice President-elect, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, and Jeremiah Kpan Koung, to declare their respective assets before the January 22, 2024 Inauguration.
The move comes in response to longstanding public concerns over corruption and mismanagement in the governance of the country.
Gross lack of assets declaration by many state officials, in the past, led to widespread corruption in public service and low public trust in state officials.
Under the National Code of Conduct (NCoC), public officials are required to declare their assets before assuming office, as well as every two years, thereafter, upon promotion or transfer, and retirement or resignation.
It is therefore crucial for President-elect Boakai and Vice President-elect Koung to declare their assets, demonstrating transparency and accountability to the Liberian people, the CSOs pointed out.
Harold M. Aidoo, Sr, Executive Director of Integrity Watch Liberia, emphasized the need for Boakai and Kpan-Koung to declare their assets and make them public.
Aidoo believes that as a President-elect who campaigned on a platform of integrity, Boakai should demonstrate this by declaring his assets and ensuring transparency. He sees this as the first step towards establishing a transparent and accountable government.
Anderson Miamen, Executive Director of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), expressed his support for the call to declare assets by the President-elect and Vice President-elect.
Miamen stated that the President-elect has promised to declare his assets and ensure that his officials do the same, which he sees as a positive step in the right direction for the country. He believes that it is the right of the Liberian people to request that their leaders adhere to the law.
Miamen: “It’s the right of the Liberian people to tell the President-elect and his vice president-elect to declare their assets. There is nothing wrong with Liberians asking their leaders to do what the law says.”
Bob M. Johnson, Acting Executive Director of the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), also voiced support for the call for assets declaration, adding that it is the right thing to do.
“It’s important for the assets to be declared and made public because it would enable people including students to tell how much Ambassador Boakai had before taking office as President of Liberia. If it’s not made public, it will be difficult for many Liberians to know the assets of the President and even his Vice President,” Johnson said.
Last week, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) released a listing of some out-going public officials who are not in compliance with declaration of their assets.