Vickjune Excel Wutoh
Liberia, like any developing country, is faced with many challenges in all sectors and systemic corruption has proven to be the bedrock for decades of bad leadership and governance crisis, especially in generating domestic revenue. Corruption is defined as the misuse of public power for unofficial ends that eventually provides officials, corrupt politicians, or corrupt civil servants, a personal gain.
This article will highlight some of the visible leading causes of corruption in four (4) revenue-generating entities of government; as well as proffer recommendations that seemingly could be the solution and benefits to minimize or eradicate corruption in Liberia.
The Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), the Liberia Business Registry (LBR), the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), and the Ministry of Transport (MOT).
The Monrovia City Corporation – this is a subnational entity that is responsible to work with businesses, NGOs, and companies to promote their goods and services to maximize municipal revenue from billboards, banners, neon signs, fliers, posters, van branding, road signs, floats, etc. through its sub-departments, e.g., Sales and Marketing, City Beautification, etc. Customers and Fined violators of the city ordinances have for a very long time had difficulties in the cumbersome service and payment system of the Corporation. Of the many hurdles this entity is challenged with, less skilled and professional customer service representatives are addition. This has created an avenue for corruption and revenue leakages.
The Liberia Business Registry – this is a joint agency of government by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, and the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation that was established to collate comprehensive data make business registration flexible and achievable within a day and create credibility for Liberian businesses. Unfortunately, no one has been able to register a business within a day due to the high level of non-automatic filling systems, and unfriendly payment methods.
Liberia Electricity Corporation – LEC is a public utility entity of government with the sole responsibility to produce and supply economical and reliable electric power to the entire nation. The production and supply of economical and reliable power to the entire nation is still a dream, an ostensible unrealistic dream because this entity is faced with a power theft crisis that is visibly affecting its revenue growth. Systemic corruption is depreciating Liberia’s image to the world.
Ministry of Transport – The Ministry of Transport is a government agency whose functions are to manage road, rail, inland waterway, sea, and air transport nationwide, and of public services. For the sake of this article, this entity is the worst of them all. The acquisition of driver’s licenses and vehicle registration are so tedious. They too like the Monrovia City Corporation are challenged with less skilled and professional customer service representatives, especially the vehicles inspectors.
A recommended solution is to decentralize and digitize service centers and go cashless.
Decentralization and digitization – the decentralization and digitization of service centers of these revenue-generating entities of government is key to minimizing or eradicating systemic corruption because when services rendered to the public are accessible to customers both online, in districts, and counties, the entities benefit from increased customer acquisition and revenue growth.
Go cashless – an electronic payment method is the best solution to solve manual cash handling issues. It gives you the convenience of transactions for customers, tackles revenue leakages, and strengthened the financial reporting system. The most conveniently transparent electronic payment platform in Liberia I can recommend to any institution, be it government or private for payment of goods and services and even salary payment is the TipMe Mobile Money App.
TipMe promotes transparency because transactions done through the platform are instantly accessible to multiple users with unique logins. With website integration for direct online payment for goods and services, customers can avoid the delay of standing in long queues and paying directly from their phones, use any visa or master card to load their TipMe wallet to perform any transaction. If the above four revenue-generating entities can decentralize and digitize their service centers and go cashless, anyone home and abroad can easily register a business, a vehicle, purchase LEC token for friends, family members, and loved ones.