Civil Society Group Condemns Internal Wrangling At CARI
The Consortium of Civil Society Organization of Liberia has condemned the internal wrangling between CARI and the Africa Rice Managerial Team.
According to the consortium, “Our investigation has established that the OIC of CARI, in person of Mrs. Paulette G. Findley, has, in recent times, continued to harass and embarrass the Country Representative of Africa Rice, Mr. Inoussa Akintayo. Her allegations of Mr. Akintayo keeping expatriates in the CARI building are of no essence. Africa Rice is an International organization and operates widely in Africa and around the world. Where they operate is where they reside, and that is the reason why those expats are in the CARI building.
“She is also alleging that these expats are being paid huge amounts, more than the scientists from CARI that are seconded to the project. Contrary to these allegations, our investigation has also revealed that these expats are being paid in harmony with best international financial management practices, and that the scientists seconded to the project are only trainees, and will serve the institution and champion the cause for meaningful managerial and effective status, hereafter for future references.”
The consortium further disclosed, “We also want to make it emphatically clear here that the MOU between Africa Rice and the Ministry of Agriculture was signed by all parties and has been shared with the management of CARI and NaFAA.
“Now, at this backdrop, the Consortium of Civil Society Organization of Liberia wants to make it categorically clear here that the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) is not a political institution but a technical research facility that is required to ensure that the proper due diligence is observed in all operations.
“Documents in our possession, contrary to tangible claim by CARI that the management does not have copies of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), say the claim is false and misleading, and is meant to mainly damage the hard-earned reputation of Africa Rice and its Country Director, Mr. Inoussa Akintayo. Documents in our possession also show that, in the MOU, CARI is benefitting from US$900 per month as contribution towards the purchase of fuel oil for the entity’s generator. And, as we stand, the leadership of CARI, through its OIC, Mrs. Paulette G. Findley, has already received three months of this allotment.
“Our investigation has also revealed that it has also been alleged by the OIC of CARI that two (2) vehicles are still in the possession of Africa Rice. This is contrary to truth telling, as only one (1) vehicle, a Toyota Hilux Pickup, is in the possession of Africa Rice, and this vehicle was purchased by Africa Rice as regarding their previous project that ended June 2020.
“Over the last few weeks, with deep remorse the Consortium of Civil Society Organization of Liberia’s investigation established that Africa Rice is a rice and fish production company, and its Country Director, Mr. Akintayo, is a long-time scientist, agriculturalist and a crops farmer. The project currently under review, which has led to the allegations levied against Mr. Akintayo, is an EU-funded project with a US$3.4 million investment package, ‘Fish and Rice Integration Project’. The Consortium of Civil Society Organization of Liberia also established that Mr. Akintayo owes it more to Liberia than any other country, holding to the fact that his wife and children are all here. In fact, his wife is a Liberian, and his children were all born in Liberia.
“Mr. Akintayo has always been in the position of exploring opportunities for many Liberians in the areas of food production and fishery, as our investigation has established that the Ministry of Agriculture can relate to the many gains made by him.
The consortium concluded by calling on the management of CARI to turn down the politics, in order to allow the common good of the Liberian people to prevail over an individual’s interest.
The Consortium of Civil Society Organization of Liberia also called on the President, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, to weed out all politicians or employees of CARI who put on destructive political garment against investors and donor partners, as this will serve as a deterrent for other technical institutions. The group further called on all well-meaning Liberians and all donor partners of Africa Rice not to give credence to Paulette G. Findley’s allegations against Country Director Inoussa Akintayo of Africa Rice. “We called on the CARI authorities to exercise the required role and ensured that the proper due diligence is observed in all operations with the authorities of Africa Rice, which we consider as the best practice for both institutions’ co-existence.”