The Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr. James N. Verdier, has said that there are several negative impacts of the “economic vampire” of corruption on the nation that requires all citizens and institutions to collaborate in combating.
According to Cllr. Verdier, the existence of corruption in Liberia has affected the effectiveness of health and education systems as well as the governance of the nation in the last 20 years, noting that the episode of NOCAL is a vivid scenario of the corruption stigma on Liberia.
“To remove such stigma, LACC over the years has assisted the nation along with GAC and other groups to expose, cut-down and lift the citizens understanding and interest in discussing as well as reporting cases of corruption across the country,” Verdier said.
He observed that the Whistle Blower Act of 2016/2017 is one of the achievable tools that the LACC and citizens see as guarantee in defeating the economic virus.
“What is needed now is to also empower the LACC through continuous capacity building of staff, increased budgetary support to the integrity institution and maintaining its tenure power rather than taking tenured positions from us,” the LACC Executive pointed out.
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson made the remarks on Monday when Liberia joined other nations across the globe to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day.
The Day is celebrated annually on December 9 when corruption watch institutions and individuals sound the trumpet to eliminate the “public enemy number one”, as it was described by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Addressing the media at the celebration in Buchanan, the Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. Verdier, said the celebration being held in Grand Bassa was to increase public awareness about the vices of corruption and how citizens can understand and report corruption cases across the country.
He said it is important for the Coalition government, particularly President George Weah and the 54th Legislature to critically review the Bill calling for the repeal of the LACC tenure positions, adding that such will impede the Commission’s independence, while having the propensity to breakdown its fabric.
It can be recalled that President Weah recently submitted a Bill requesting the Legislature to repeal the Tenure positions of some government agencies and commissions such as the Liberia Revenue Authority, Central Bank of Liberia, LACC, among others, a request that lawmakers in the lower House have passed and sent to the Senate for concurrence.
The celebration in Buchanan was attended by the Oversight Commissioner of the LACC, Cllr. Charles J. L. Gibson, as well as representatives of the UNDP, Swedish Embassy and county officials, other dignitaries and students.