Home Economy Patray Orders US$730,000 Payment …Financial Dossiers Reveal

Patray Orders US$730,000 Payment …Financial Dossiers Reveal

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By our staff writer

MONROVIA: Documents believed to have been linked to the public that border on audit conducted by the state-owned General Auditing Commission (GAC), on the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), show that the erstwhile Administration of former President George Manneh Weah made a payment of over US$730,000 for state security operations.

It has been about five years since the erstwhile Weah-led administration reportedly borrowed money from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).

At the time, the CBL, believed to be the country’s independent monetary body, then, headed by Nathaniel Patray, was said to have been involved with malpractices.

However, some banking insiders familiar with said financial transactions, then, have expressed fear of speaking out for administrative reasons following the latest GAC audit, which established that a staggering US$730,000 was disbursed to some state security institutions and the Ministry of State ‘without proper approval.’

The controversy was triggered by accusation of corruption, something that prompted the new administration of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai- to institute an audit of the CBL.

Amid claims of financial malpractices involving the immediate past administration, other shocking revelations have come to light.

In 2019, the then Executive Governor of the CBL, Nathaniel R. Patray, allegedly ordered the disbursement of over half a million United States Dollars to three security and administrative institutions.

Dossiers obtained by this paper indicate that CBL’s former Governor Nathaniel Patray, mandated his then deputy for operations at the CBL to release funds at his discretion to said institutions.

According to the dossiers, in July 2019, Governor Patray authorized payments, totaling US$730,000 as the Bank’s contributions for Liberia’s Independence Day celebration to various state security institutions and Ministry of State for President Affairs.

The security institutions, according to the documents, were identified as Liberia National Police (LNP), and National Security Agency (NSA) and the Ministry of State.

LNP was given US$200,000 to buttress security while US$150,000 was allotted to other agencies for special security operations.

According to the documents, US$80,000 was given for the Ministry of State and US$300,000 as CBL’s contribution.

Critics expressed displeasure over the alleged action of former Governor Patray for misappropriating such funds from the CBL to state institutions while the country was faced with rising problems including skyrocketing food and fuel prices among others, then.

Anonymous sources within the CBL also revealed that audit reports have uncovered questionable dealings allegedly by CBL’s then Governor, Nathaniel Patray, triggering calls from the public for his prosecution as requires by law.

Since the GAC audit, other financial analysts have pointed out that by instructing a deputy to release funds without proper approval violates the country’s Financial Laws including the Public Financial Act of 2009 and CBL Act.

So far, Mr. Patray who was retired from the CBL, during the erstwhile administration of former President George Manneh Weah, is yet to publicly comment on the outcome of the latest GAC audit report.

Interestingly, some apologists of the ruling Unity Party led government, commenting on the recent audit report said, such audit report has verified claims of corruption at the CBL.

“It is obvious that telling your deputy to release funding without proper approval was intended for some self-serving motives, something that amounts to corruption,” said one senior bank official who prefers anonymity for administrative and security reasons.

But, other non-partisans added that perception about the Deputy is a cleaver attempt to unduly target the current Deputy Governor who then was acting and operated on instructions from her boss, former CBL Governor, Nathaniel Patray.

According to well-placed and unimpeachable insiders of the CBL, following the appointment of a new management team at the CBL, headed by Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue, and Madam Nyemadi Pearson, much-needed confidence and trust has been restored to the CBL and in the nation’s banking and other financial sectors. Investigation continues.

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