LIBERIA: PUL Cautions Media Houses on Taking Advantage of Gov’t Audits on Domestic Debt

Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia, Daniel Nyakonah, Jr.

The Press Union of Liberia is urging all print and electronic media institutions in the country to take advantage of ongoing audits of the Government of Liberia Domestic Debt in Monrovia.

Liberia’s Supreme Audit Institution, the General Auditing Commission (GAC) is conducting the audit with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Press Union of Liberia latest action is an outcome of a high-level meeting held Friday, February 18, 2022 between Auditor General P. Garswea Jackson, the Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia, Daniel Nyakonah, Jr. and leaders of the Publishers Association of Liberia.

Auditor General Jackson disclosed during the meeting that the audit is covering ministries and agencies across government and that all claims being examined are from 1980 to 2021. He stressed that the audit will enable the government to pay valid debts owned by vendors during the period under review. Four hundred (400) claims have been submitted before the General Auditing Commission since the start of the exercise on January 10, 2022.

Speaking earlier, PUL Vice President, Daniel Nyakonah, Jr. said it was important that media be guided appropriately through the steps required for the submission of claims to the General Auditing Commission. The Press Union of Liberia Vice President, Nyakonah, Jr. asked for a dedicated desk for media at the GAC to help speedily verify claims submitted by the Liberian Media.  Mr. Nyakonah revealed that payments of the media debts will see salary arrears being paid and investments done in the sector to prepare journalists and make content better.

For his part, Publisher Association of Liberia President, Othello Garbalah disclosed that government ministries & agencies are heavily indebted to media institutions. Mr. Garbalah singled out state owned enterprises (SOEs) for ignoring payments to media institutions for services rendered to them.

In 2008, the Government of Liberia commissioned KPMG to conduct an audit of Liberia’s Domestic Debt aimed at authenticating claims during the period between January 1982 and October 2003 and attaining arrears incurred on these debts from October 2003 to January 2006. At the end KPMG reported the claims as “valid, invalid or contestable.” Some of the valid claims have been settled. However, currently, there is no comprehensive database to indicate whether or not a claim has been fully settled.

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About Cholo Brooks 17512 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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