Three years after being blessed by the humility and kindness of the world when the comity of nations in 2010 pardoned $ 5 billion debt the West African nation of Liberia owed multilateral and bilateral financial institutions, the core upon which that gesture was lavished that the shambled country coming out of 14 years civil war would reignite its economy and prepare its people into thriving human development, is yet to balance on a leg and thrust the society forward.
According the 2013 ‘World’s Most Miserable Countries Index”, Liberia ranks second as the most miserable country in the world with Zimbabwe edging first out of 195 countries studied. Liberia’s “Misery Index Score” is 90.5%, with a CPI inflation rate of 5.5% and unemployment standing at 85%.
The CPI Misery Index is compiled by Business Insider, using the ”crude economic measure created by Arthur Orkum which aggregates a country’s unemployment and inflation rates to access conditions on the ground and the higher the number, the more miserable a country”. Business Insider compilation and result is based on CIA World Factbook data, “which estimates figures for countries and territories that do not have reliable local reporting agencies”.
The report attributes Liberia’s pitfall to a “shambled economy” recovering from war and “mismanagement”.
Recently, the World Bank expressed its concern that despite the huge assistance to Liberia, the gains of those assistance are yet to reach the masses. The government t of a Harvard educated , President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who the world once heralded and was fascinated about, being the first female President of Africa has not turned the tremendous and unprecedented outpouring of international aid and support to Liberia to improve the lives of her people and country.
Corruption in high places even implicating the office of the Liberian President has become a norm in the governance of the country with public official ransacking public coffers as if they have been given license to go on stealing spree because they are not reprimanded.
The former Auditor General was let go by the President in 2011 because he fought tooth and nail to reign corrupt public officials who stole millions of dollars but his several audit reports indicting these officials were swept under the rough and made him enemies to public officials who made sure he left the government.
Today, Liberia is rapidly derailing back to a failed state because of corruption, mismanagement, disregard for the rule of law and the president loyalty to her friends in government over the country’s interest as they loot the country resources and willfully trampled upon individual citizens rights with some officials rendering copra punishment to citizens who they deemed violated the law without due process and though Liberian laws do not subscribe to copra punishment.
Corruption in government is pervasive the Liberian government to the extent that the co-winner of the 2011 Noble Peace Laureate alongside with President Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee who served as Peace Ambassador in the government resigned her post, crying foul that corruption so systemic and destroying the country she could no longer stomach it and it was time she left the government.
Liberia and its citizens are also victimized the venom of corruption in their government as the country’s newly found wealth, oil, has already been auctioned out through unscrupulous contracts which did not secure Liberia’s interest but individuals.
Twelfth of the eighteen of the oil blocks have been auctioned out to foreign companies and the country has nothing tangible validate the gains accrued from the oil contracts except that a Nigerian national who lured the government into purchasing oil blocks through trickery and thievery by issuing the government a bounced check for the purchasing of the oil block landed himself $200 million when he resold the oil block to Chevron and secured 30% share in the company but Liberia only benefit is from the taxes to be generated from future revenue.
Corruption is also exhibited by the Liberian leader appointing seventeen of her family members in government including three of her children into strategic positions, ranging heading the oil company, security, and banking.