Monrovia – A variety of conspiracy theories have been circulating within the aftermath of President George Manneh Weah’s determination to half ways together with his Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mogana Flomo with some options from the fallen minister’s camp that he had been resisting strain to rent partisans from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]
Seeking answers, FrontPageAfrica has been digging the corridors of the presidency for answers.
Whereas most of the president’s closed aides are remaining tightlipped, the idea relating to Dr. Flomo’s dismissal due to partisan politics strain is being extensively dismissed.
An Insider Explains Purpose for Firing
“I think the President wanted a change at the ministry because he was simply unhappy with the performance, this has nothing to do with giving jobs to partisans of the ruling party,” stated a supply with shut proximity to the presidency who most popular anonymity because he has not been approved to converse on the matter. “The bottom line is, “it’s about performance. People will always want use jobs as means of justifying their dismissal but nothing like that happened.”
FrontPageAfrica has discovered that the President was notably unhappy with Dr. Flomo’s failure to comply with up on a lot of discussions the President had with key stakeholders relating to the revamp of the agriculture sector.
One specific instance mentioned to FPA was the President’s current go to to Israel during which the Israeli Authorities promised to assist increase the agricultural sector in Liberia.
The Jewish state which because the 1950s have been recognized for creating progressive means of agriculture by means of drip and micro-irrigation options, green cocoons, biological pest management, dairy farming and tailored farm options, that some say, the economically-challenged Liberia might reap some advantages of an innovation that’s rapidly spreading worldwide and from a desert-challenged nation that has had outcomes.
Regardless of the explanation from authorities circle, sources say Flomo’s dismissal was within the making ever since he fallout with Bong County lawmaker, Consultant Melvin Cole – the person who reportedly lobbied to get him the publish.
Flomo is just not considered a partisan of CDC, a factor that lessened his affect within the cabinet and relationship with President Weah. And when he opted to reject the employment of scores of partisans advisable for employment by Rep Cole, a feud turned imminent.
There have been frequent jibes coming from supporters of Rep. Cole aimed toward Dr. Flomo; a few of the feedback steered that Flomo’s days have been numbered at the Ministry because he was “disrespecting the people that made him”.
On the similar time, according to Inside sources at the Ministry, Dr. Flomo turned unpopular with the Government because he typically rejected requests to expend donor funds in a certain method that he saw as a variance to said laws.
Sources say when Dr. Flomo turned recalcitrant concerning the “wrong procedure” in using donors’ funding, the Venture Implementation Unit on the Ministry of Agriculture turned working, compiling and filing stories with out his attestation. And when he protested their actions, he additional sank right into a deeper row with members of the Government.
Our source stated one one that persistently opposed the now ousted Minister was Cllr Sayma Syrennius Cephus, who was Deputy Minister on the time.
Now Solicitor Basic-designate, Cllr. Cephus was typically keen on rejecting Dr. Flomo’s suggestion which referred to as for the PMU to first submit its report to him before onward submission.
Bong Loses Numerical Relevance
Citizens of Bong advised FrontPageAfrica the choice of President Weah to relieve Flomo of his publish undermines the numerical relevance of a county that performed a big part in Weah turning into president.
Bong is the third populated county in Liberia with over 200, 000 registered voters, in accordance to the Nationwide Elections Fee (NEC). Within the first spherical of the votes in 2017, CDC gained Bong with 29,045 and amassed 32,896 votes within the second spherical.
But the county’s low representation within the Government – in Ministerial positions – is disappointing several youths of the county.
“This is a shame to our county,” stated Titus Dolo, 32, after news of Dr. Flomo dismissal penetrated the county. “Bong County will be in the news for the wrong reason.”
Cyrus Zoryou, a resident of the Civil Compound group in Gbarnga, argued it was pointless for President Weah to half company with Flomo, especially at a time the Coalition of Democratic Change was getting ready to find a consensus candidate for the 2020 senatorial election.
Zoryou stated partisans of the CDC in Bong are in shock over Flomo’s sudden dismissal. “We really didn’t see this dismissal coming. For me, I am surprised,” he stated.
Mohammed Kromah, a partisan of the CDC in Bong, stated the dismissal of the lone cabinet minister from Bong County in President Weah’s government undermined a destructive picture for the county.
Kromah stated Flomo’s dismissal indicates that President Weah cares less concerning the county’s political relevance. “This can’t be the South East. This latest action by the president should send a very strong message to citizens of the county,” he stated.
Continuing, he added: “You can’t have the third most populated county with no representation in government.”
Some political observers within the county assert that the return of Walker amid the firing or Dr. Flomo might heighten the already present rift between Walker and the Vice President at the benefit of President Weah.
Lamenting Lack of Funding
Throughout his time as minister, Dr. Flomo, complained concerning the lack of enough finances help as a key cause the sector has been struggling.
Within the earlier 2018/2019 fiscal yr, set at US$488.eight million, with only US$eight.3 million appropriated for agriculture. This quantities to 1.69% of the whole nationwide finances of Liberia, whereas 62.1%. goes to recurrent expenditures the majority of which pays for large salaries and allowances and logistics for prime officers.
Critics have recommended that the finances make up at the least 10% allotted to agriculture, so as to not simply enhance the livelihood of the abnormal individuals consistent with the CDC government’s pro-poor agenda but in addition lay emphasis on the rice value-chain improvement deemed key to taking a number of the burden on authorities in the wake of the speedy decline in extraction and exportation of minerals from Liberia.
President Weah in his Annual Message in January lamented that infinite national and overseas assets pumped into agriculture have been monumental, yet returns on these investments are virtually negligible. “This will have to change,” he stated. “Just as I am doing with the roads, I will directly get involved in the programs and practical implementation of agriculture development. The sector accounts for more than seventy percent (70%) of household earnings. Therefore, our Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development can only be sustainably achieved through agriculture. We will craft new practical and realistic agriculture policies, incentivize the sector by providing access to credit, reducing tariffs on agriculture implements, and provide small machines, modern seeds and fertilizers.”
In the coming months, sources say, the President shall be wanting to prioritize the sector in the identical method he has been prioritizing roads since ascending to the presidency with many stakeholders agreeing that a vibrant agriculture sector could possibly be the answer to Liberia’s financial revival amid the decline of rubber, iron ore and oil prices.
Who Fills the Void?
FrontPageAfrica now takes a take a look at a few of the names stated to be into account jumpstart the sector.
UPSIDE: The present head of the Liberia Maritime Authority previously served as Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs on the Ministry of Finance and Improvement Planning (MFDP), underneath former President Sirleaf’s government where he was liable for managing the financial assets of the nation, creating and administering monetary guidelines and laws, overseeing issues relating to authorities accounting and reporting, overseeing matters relating to tax and revenue policies and reform, and overseeing general expenditure monitoring. Before turning into Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs in 2014, he served as Deputy Minister for Revenues in 2012 at the Ministry of Finance and previously as Appearing Deputy Minister for Regional and Sectoral Planning at the Ministry of Planning and Financial Affairs in 2011.
In 2009, working with the workforce at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, he ran the Secretariat of the Liberia Reconstruction & Improvement Committee, where he used results-based monitoring methods to considerably improve implementation rates. Throughout this period, he was instrumental in enhancing coordination between improvement companions and state actors.
Dr. Kollie holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Zion College School, an M.B.A. in company finance from the University of St. Thomas, and a Ph.D. in public coverage and administration from Walden College.
DOWNSIDE: Kollie has been pressured to defend himself towards allegations linked to the Personal Sector Improvement Initiative (PDSI) which spurred a ricochet criticism. In the course of the former Sirleaf government, Mr. Kollie slammed the audit as a witch-hunt by former finance minister Boima Kamara who he accused on the time of prematurely leaking the report to the press. In a letter to the President, Kollie wrote: “Madam President, due to the unprofessional manner in which the audit was conducted coupled with the form and manner in which the draft report that had not benefited from my response was made public, I am of the conviction that the current actors have no credibility and independence in reviewing my responses and/or facts that might be presented to them because they seem to have vested interest in damaging my reputation”
Quite just lately, he took the Solicitor Basic Designate Cyrennius Cephus to process for naming among an inventory of former Sirleaf authorities official who could not collectively account for some US$13 million from the European Union (EU). The Solicitor Common-designate reliance was a GAC audit which he claimed was carried out for the interval July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017. However Kollie took offense, demanding answers from the SG designate. Cllr. Cephas, as a result of the record reference to GAC Audit Stories for the period July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017, I really do need to know the next: Is there truly any audit report by the GAC on $13 million offered by the European Union? Did that report, if it exists, ever point out my identify? Does that report have any response from me in it? Is the point out of me or anybody purely on the idea of unsubstantiated media and press studies? Cllr. Cephas, I am constrained to ask these questions as a result of to the perfect of my information, no auditor has ever requested me any query about EU $13 million and so in your press assertion to claim that there’s a GAC report is completely shocking and baffling.”
ODDS: Kollie was one of many founding members of the CDC and was stated to be instrumental within the celebration’s 2017 victory albeit from behind the scenes. President Weah has quietly expressed a want to convey a recent face to the maritime sector and this could possibly be a approach out for Kollie although the difficulty of tenure presents some problems. . . 5/1
UPSIDE: The previous head of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission is very regarded and was named the 2018 Integrity Idol Liberia winner.
Many see him as being outright and principle minded. Mr. Jallah is Liberia’s former Deputy Minister for Sectoral and Regional Planning and beforehand served in the World Bank Advisory Group in early 2011 and contributed immensely to the development of the new international Social Protection and Labor Technique. He has worked as an unbiased redevelopment advisor actively engaged in numerous sectors of Liberia’s financial system, including in the last quarter of 2012 when former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf appointed him as head of a panel which investigated a corruption scandal within the forestry sector. The findings of that investigation have led to sweeping reforms presently underway in the forestry sector. Mr. Jallah holds a Master of Engineering degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) International Logistics Program based mostly in Zaragoza, Spain.
DOWNSIDE: Regardless of his credentials and confirmed report of efficiency, the failure of the Weah-led government to renew his tenure raised eyebrows concerning the authorities’s want to embrace competent Liberians who could make a difference.
ODDS: Although Jallah has publicly stated he left on a great observe as a result of his tenure was not renewed, the courtroom of public opinion maintain a special view. Dorbor’s appointment right here might mark an indication of maturity and willingness to give an embrace to one among Liberia’s integrity giants . . . 5/1
UPSIDE: Massaquoi comes from the Nationwide Patriotic Celebration bloc of former President Charles Taylor. He contested on the celebration’s ticket within the 2005 presidential elections, putting sixth out of 22 candidates, receiving 4.1% of the vote. He has some background within the sector when he served previously in 2009 as President of the Liberian Produce Advertising Corporation. He additionally beforehand served as Minister of Agriculture and later Minister of Planning through the reign of former President Taylor. He is a member of the Lorma ethnic group, a tribe many critics of the Weah administration says has been neglected on the jobs front.
Massaquoi who also serves on the board of the Agriculture Investment Network (AIN) as soon as described the sector as the only alternative that might make farmers rich and stabilize the country’s financial system whereas stressing the necessity to encourage smallholder farmers to remain effective in food production. He has been a robust proponent of making an enabling surroundings for potential farmers, thereby setting up agriculture insurance policies that may information farmers alongside the best way, so that Liberia, as a rustic, shall be self-sufficient in meals production.
DOWNSIDE: Massaquoi, the current president of the Bong County Technical School(BTCC) has been essential towards the federal government ‘s failure to adequately fund the varsity, declaring just lately that assist money collected from college students up to now semesters was directed towards the acquisition of gasoline for the generator, stationeries and other important gadgets to run the institution. “We don’t have money to run the institution. Things have become tough for us as a university since President Weah announced the free tuition,” he stated just lately. Some supporters of the ruling celebration have been important of Massaquoi’s vocal stance towards the shortage of funding offered by the government, suggesting that he keeps it in the family.
ODDS: This could possibly be the first high-profile job to anyone from the NPP, one of the collaborating parties in the ruling coalition – or perhaps not.… three/1
UPSIDE: The previous dean of the Agriculture and Forestry School at the College of Liberia is very considered one of the brightest minds in the agriculture sector. His brief stint in the course of the dog days of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government ended on a whimper. Throughout his time at the Forestry School, Zinnah was extensively credited with the curriculum reform on the school which he stated was key to helping the school respond to the dynamic modifications within the country’s agriculture sector.
During a Liberian Personal Sector Discussion board final January, Dr. Zinnah averred that regardless of the nation’s political and socio-economic variations, there’s a consensus that agriculture is the inspiration for the transformation of Liberia right into a middle-income country. “Agriculture is the most effective means of reducing poverty and ensuring economic growth and development because the majority of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihoods,” he stated.
Dr. Zinnah has more than 30 years of in depth professional experience in working with teams and people in diversified institutional settings of national and international non-governmental organizations, ministries of agriculture, analysis institutes, personal service providers, and universities and schools in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and USA.
He has served on high-level teams of Authorities of Liberia as Deputy Minister for Planning and Improvement on the Ministry of Agriculture and offered management in the preparation and efficiently negotiation of several donor-funded agricultural improvement tasks which are being funded by the African Improvement, Bank World Financial institution/IDA, Worldwide Fund for Agricultural Improvement, Japanese Trust Fund, International Environmental Fund and the United Nations Improvement Program.
He’s also liable for facilitating the institution of the Program Management Unit (PMU) in the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) that supervises the administration and implementation of all donor-funded agricultural improvement tasks in the Ministry of Agriculture.
He holds a Ph.D. in Persevering with and Vocational Schooling (Agricultural & Extension Schooling choice); Minor in Rural Sociology from the College of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and an M.Sc. in Persevering with and Vocational Schooling (Agricultural and Extension Schooling choice), University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He is a 1980 graduate from the Common Agriculture, School of Agriculture and Forestry, College of Liberia and a 1976 graduate from Our Woman of Fatima Excessive Faculty. Harper, Cape Palmas, Maryland County, Liberia.
DOWNSIDE: Zinnah’s critics say he is more of a theoretical thoughts than practical, one purpose why some say former President Sirleaf parted methods with him. Sirleaf took a chance on Zinnah, who till his appointment was the top of the Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Venture in hopes of reviving a sector and Ministry many considered one of many lowest performers of her presidency. Her two previous ministers, came from the Diaspora and with high-profile credentials. Dr. J. Chris Toe, had risen from the rank of a professor to head the U.S.-based Strayer University and Dr. Florence Chenoweth, who had held the position, thirty years earlier and etched in history because the architect of the notorious 1979 rice riot.
ODDS: A return for Zinnah should be too recent however his brains and experience might come in useful as the writer of the only agriculture coverage on document… 5/1
VAH ISAAC TUKPAH Jr.
UPSIDE: Extensively considered one of many brightest brains in the ruling celebration, Tukpah is a Chairman Emeritus of the Congress for Democratic Change USA department, also referred to as CDC-USA. He has been a member of the CDC since November 2009 and has served as Monetary Secretary, Deputy Chairman for Operations and Deputy Chairman for Administration. Professionally, he’s a Senior Undertaking/Program Manager with in depth experience in Healthcare Info Know-how and Finance. He has a robust background in program & undertaking administration, danger analysis and administration, performance evaluation, healthcare financial planning and analysis, and strategic planning. He is presently the CEO of a Liberian owned agency referred to as Sustainable Improvement Worldwide, Included (SDII). SDII focuses on bringing holistic improvement to Liberia via using renewable power, water administration, and agriculture with robust concentrate on the triple backside line. He holds a B.Sc. in Economics from Cuttington University (formerly Cuttington College School), magnum cum laude, and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland Smith Faculty of Business. He additionally accomplished all educational requirements for a level in Monetary & Industrial Economics at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ. He holds a current undertaking administration certification from the Undertaking Management Institute (PMI).
DOWNSIDE: On paper, Tukpah is certainly on of the brightest minds in the ruling celebration and has all the bins examine when it comes to the requirements of those appointed to date. He’s from Rivercess however raised in Monrovia and in addition lived in Grassfield and Yekepa, in Nimba County. An unexplained beef with the current president is claimed to be the primary purpose why Tukpah has not landed a job. But he stays one of the social gathering’s strongest defenders on social media.
ODDS: Many authorities and ruling get together insiders say it might take a miracle for Tukpah to be thought-about here… 3/1
UPSIDE: One of many few survivors from the administration of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Broh, is understood for getting the job finished. She has not background in agriculture but does fit the description of what President Weah’s aide says he’s in search of, somebody who will aggressively push his agriculture agenda.
Broh, a long-time good friend and aide to former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, first got here to authorities in March 2006 because the Particular Tasks Coordinator for the President’s government employees. In 2007, she was promoted to direct the Passport Bureau in a successful try to curtail and remove corruption and bribery inside the division. In 2008, Broh turned the Deputy Director of the Nationwide Port Authority(NPA). In February 2009, she was selected to serve as Appearing Mayor of Monrovia instead of the previous mayor, Ophelia Hoff Saytuma, within the President’s effort to legitimize the Monrovia City Company’s (MCC) administrative and monetary administration. Though Broh was seated in February 2009 by appointment, relatively than by the standard democratic election process, she was not officially confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
Broh has worked to clean up the capital city with measures that embrace citywide litter discount campaigns aimed to improve public awareness of litter, sanitation, and general public health. In October 2009, she carried out the revised City Ordinance No. 1, originally established by the MCC in 1975 to tackle public health, sanitation, and road vendors. The revision sought to tackle points which have collected within the capital during the last 20 years reminiscent of overflowing and unsanitary trash, makeshift buildings and unregulated road distributors who promote foodstuffs to locals and vacationers alike.
DOWNSIDE: Broh, once a torn in the flesh of the present ruling get together when it was within the opposition, remains an enigma, a loner from the previous authorities now heading the Common Providers Agency where she has been battle-tested, disrespected preventing a battle to keep sanity as an outsider in a job, many partisans would love to have.
ODDS: Broh gets the job carried out but would she get it right here? . . . 5/1