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Samuel Tweah: President Weah’s Transparency Confirmed by GAC; Cash Balance Debate Resolved

In a recent turn of events, the controversy surrounding the reported cash balance in Liberia’s consolidated account has been laid to rest.

According to former Finance Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., in a Facebook post on March 7, 2024, indicated that President Weah’s assertion that the total cash balance stood at around US $41 million, made in a speech to the nation on January 21, has been confirmed as accurate by the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

The saga began when attempts were made to dispute the figure for political gain. Current President Boakai, delivering his first State of the Nation address, suggested that only US$20 million remained in the account, casting doubt on Weah’s statement. This move was perceived as politically motivated, given the backdrop of partisan rivalry between the Unity Party (UP) and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

The Public Accounts Audits and Expenditure Committee (PAC), the Banking and Currency Committee, and the Joint Committees of the Liberian Senate requested on February 8, 2024, that the Auditor General conduct a Special Reconciliation audit on the net account balances of the Consolidated Fund Accounts as of January 17 and 19, 2024. The planned audit aimed to determine the actual balances of the Consolidated Fund, given the disparities in the balances reported by the present and previous Liberian government administrations.

However, according to the former Finance Minister, the GAC’s investigation has vindicated President Weah’s claim, revealing that indeed more than US $41 million was available in the consolidated account on the specified date. The GAC’s findings put an end to speculation and reaffirmed Weah’s transparency in reporting on the financial state of the nation.

Did the GAC confirm US $46 million cash available on that day? YES! Did president Weah say US $41 million cash was available on that day? YES. Did president Weah say anything about Government obligations? NO. Should president Weah have reported ‘reconciled numbers’? Hell no. Cash balances on a daily basis are in real time. Reconciliation comes after so many things that may or may not happen over time. Reconciliation is done at the end of an accounting period. The political tradition since 2018 is you say how much you are leaving in cash and in reserve”; writes Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., former Finance Minister in a Facebook post.

Importantly, the debate centered solely on cash balances and did not delve into government obligations. Critics attempted to draw comparisons with past administrations, particularly highlighting the UP’s exit from office in 2018, when it left a significantly smaller amount in the consolidated account.

President Weah’s adherence to factual reporting has been commended, emphasizing the importance of honesty and transparency in Liberian politics. The GAC’s confirmation of the cash balance closes the debate, underscoring the need to prioritize substantive issues over partisan squabbles.

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Liberian-born Emmanuel Orlind Cooper is an accomplished multimedia journalist with extensive experience covering news and stories on a variety of media platforms. Orlind's work frequently demonstrates his profound grasp of the region and its complexity, given his Liberian heritage.

Now residing in Philadelphia, he keeps connecting with readers across continents with his perceptive journalism and sharing his viewpoint. He is well-respected in the sector because of his unwavering commitment to honesty and morality, which sets him apart in the field.

Orlind's work is more than simply his job; it's a dedication to giving voice to the voiceless, illuminating unsung tales, and advancing the worldwide conversation on important concerns. His goal as a journalist is to use the media's power to change the world, not just to disseminate information. He is a key player in modern journalism because of the inspiration, education, and engagement that his work consistently provides.

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