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Tweah Clarifies $48m Covid-19 Money Saga

By Alex Yomah
Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, has clarified reports that government of Liberia siphoned 48 million United States dollars that were reportedly intended to effectively fight Covid-19 and post Covid-19 programs in Liberia.
Government of Liberia has come under sustained criticisms from the public due to claims that four auditors were killed because of $48m audited reports that were unearthed which among other things, government was reportedly shielding not to appear in the public.
Minister Tweah’s clarification followed claims through a question that he and other officials of government have been accused of the deaths of the four auditors due to $48m that were stolen by Covid-19 Response Team through government.
But reacting, Tweah termed the report as bogus and politically intended to besmear the hard earned reputation of this government.
“My knowledge of the Covid-19 funding that has been received and spent by the government of Liberia along with partners, the Government of Liberia has transferred through the Ministry of Finance $5m to the National Response Team, to the National Public Health Institution of Liberia and the Ministry of Health,” Tweah said.
“So in another words; the $5m is government’s contribution to the people who are implementing Covid-19. That 5m, is the physical money that has been spent to pay people and hotel fees. All the development partners indirectly spent money themselves. “They didn’t give money to the Response Team; they spent it themselves,” he clarified.
Mr. Tweah clarified that development partners do not give money directly to Response team rather, transferred some four million United States dollars indirectly and gave the receipt to government.
He also noted that in addition to the money the aforementioned amount came from the World Bank and it amounted to $7m which is not controlled by Covid-19 Team thus putting total expenditure to $16m so far.
Adding, “These separate amounts are only monies been spent by Response Team and other monies may be in process like the World Bank promised 17m and we spent 7m; we still have 10m to spend in that process; it has not been spent yet,” Tweah indicated.
Minister Tweah also disclosed that the reported $48m amount is a budget or promise to be received and that said amount has been received.

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