Monrovia – With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education has, in a crookery manner, begun the implementation of the Educational Stipend Cash Transfer Program to Support 12th Graders Sitting the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in Liberia.
According to a statement released by USAID, “the program funded by USAID will provide a one-time cash stipend of approximately US$50 to all 12th grade students from public and private schools in Liberia’s fifteen counties who are registered to take the Exams. Some forty-two thousand 12th graders are eligible to receive the stipends to help them meet the cost of transportation to school, as well as their daily food and other basic needs as they prepare for the Exams, which are being administered from August 17 to September 2, 2020.”
Instead of sending the full US$50 as announced by USAID, the Ministry of Education is now reportedly sending L$5,000 of this money to each 12th grade student.
All attempts to contact the Ministry of Education was fruitless.
Pundits believe the latest action is a clear indication that the Weah-led government is prepared to go at any length to ensure the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate is elected Senator of Montserrado County in the upcoming midterm senatorial election scheduled for December 8.
The present wave of corruption in public office is unprecedented in Liberia. However, corruption is not new to the government headed by ex-Soccer Star George M. Weah
The Weah-led government boasts a well-established tradition of corrupt behaviour as Ministers and other Officials of Government have presided over wanton robbery of the public purse.
In September 2018, a shipping containers filled with 16 billion newly printed Liberian dollars from Swedish banknote manufacturer Crane AB disappeared in thin air without trace.
Again, in July 2018, the minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah, spearheaded the total mismanagement of 25m US dollars cash intended to mop up the excess liquidity of Liberian dollars injection into the economy, with both the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) and Kroll reports finding major flaws, among others.
One would have thought that the Weah-led government would want to break from its tradition of corruption, and listening to President Weah pronouncements to end corruption in Public Service at his swearing-in, many Liberians expected honesty and transparency from the new Government. Instead, what we have experienced is an Administration that has taken corruption to an unprecedented level.