President Appeals to Young Professionals to Help Government Fight Corruption, Unethical Behavior

Sunday, 5th May 2013
President Sirleaf attends President's Young Professionals' Program  Retreat.
President Sirleaf attends President's Young Professionals' Program Retreat.
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson / Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on members of the President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP), employed with various ministries and agencies, to assist government in its fight against corruption, and to enhance ethical performance and the integrity of public servants in the country.


According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader issued the appeal on Saturday, May 4, at Myrtle Beach, in Kendeja, where she participated in a one-day retreat with PYPs, the theme of which was: “Enhancing the Agenda for Transformation through Ethics, Integrity and Professionalism.” Mr. Saah Charles N’Tow is Director of the President’s Young Professionals Program. Also in attendance were: Gender & Development Minister, Mrs. Julia Duncan Cassell; and Education Minister, Mrs. Etmonia David Tarpeh, among others.


President Sirleaf called on the PYPs to not only be vocal, but to help government in exposing corrupt practices, unethical behavior, lack of integrity and the unprofessional attitudes of public servants, to help change the society for the betterment of all Liberians. “You must help me to do this; we all must fight it,” the Liberian leader said, appealing to the more than 100 young professionals present.


On the misuse of assigned government vehicles, President Sirleaf assured the gathering that the matter will soon be resolved, as a “Fleet Management Policy” is steadily being introduced to address the matter, because government alone cannot afford to assume the cost of maintaining government-assigned vehicles. As the policy takes effect, the President explained, ministers, deputies and assistant ministers will be made to sign cost-sharing contracts with government, for the management and maintenance of these vehicles., After four years, the vehicles becomes theirs, she said, pointing out that most of the officials concerned earn US$3,000 and below – an amount which is insufficient to sustain them.


Commenting on reports that, at the Ministry of Finance, employees refuse to serve the public who go there to transact business, unless they are paid bribes, President Sirleaf again appealed to the PYPs to expose such individuals or departments where they are assigned, for stern action.


In a panel discussion, three PYPs – Joseta Neufville of the Ministry of State, Emmanuel N. B. Flomo of the Ministry of Finance, and J. Alben Greaves of the Ministry of Justice – spoke, respectively, on “Professionalism, Integrity and Ethics in Public Service.” An interactive session followed, with President Sirleaf listening attentively.


In the exchange, PYPs frowned on sex for grades in schools, police officers who accept bribes to let off motorists who violate traffic rules, and the persistent requests by some civil servants for bribes before serving the public as some of the unethical and unprofessional behaviors, shrouded in lack of integrity and transparency, which the society must fight head-on for the betterment of all Liberians, if “Vision 2030” is to be achieved.