"Ambitious Agenda on Massive Capacity Building"
- AG Morlu Tells Nairobi University Officials
April 27, 2011
AG Morlu in Nairobi, Kenya
“Liberia is a new country that we are trying to construct, it will need another 100 years of massive capacity building to get on par with other countries”, the Auditor General told a gathering of senior officials of the University of Nairobi on the city campus of the university with over 52,000 students.
The Auditor General during a visit to the University where 33 staff from the General Auditing Commission of Liberia (GAC) are currently enrolled in Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program said following 14 years of civil war in Liberia, the country needs to be handled in a way that it is a new country with nothing to boast of.
“I have a very ambitious plan for Liberia, it is not only about audit, after building a supreme audit institution in less than four years, my attention now is to build the capacity of hundreds of Liberians, which I believe is the most concrete way of developing a country”, AG Morlu stated.
At the meeting with five senior officials of board at the University of Nairobi, AG Morlu narrated that when he took up the post of Auditor General, he employed young Liberians, many of whom have not worked before and therefore commenced the task of building their capacity to perform reliable and quality audit.
“My staff are all young and I know they have lots of energy so I have provided them local and international trainings for three years with the help of the European Union and I believe going forward, they need international exposure, this is while this group is here”, the Auditor General told the University officials.
Exposure, the AG noted is paramount as he indicated that acquiring master degree in foreign country is not only about the degree but the exposure and the new experience the students will return with to Liberia.
Did not Achieve All
“When I started audit in Liberia, in the first audit the major issue was lack of knowledge by officers responsible to perform certain task which resulted to loss to the Government of Liberia in four years, the same capacity problem still exist”, he lamented.
He observed that capacity gap has been identified but tackling the problem has been a challenge for the Government of Liberia.
The Auditor General expressed that the 33 staff at the University of Nairobi and the nine currently in the United States of America are amongst the first batch of the capacity building program but said he has not reached half of his ambitious capacity building plan.
“I have laid the framework and started the process that will see the GAC having hundreds of employees with master degrees that will take up jobs all across other ministries and agencies of the Government of Liberia to be able to perform the task,” AG Morlu declared.
Proud of University
The Auditor General indicated that there were lots of options available as to where to send GAC staff for further study but he decided on the University of Nairobi because of the reputation of the University.
“I am happy for the standard here because I lived in America for years and heard a lot about this university and upon my arrival, my staff have embraced the high standard, so I am happy to see them here”, he asserted.
With a degree from the University of Nairobi, the Auditor General averred that he is confident that GAC staff will be up to the task to perform upon their return.In the bid to make the foreign scholarship program embarked upon by the GAC a continuous process, the AG said a Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the GAC needs to be signed.
Dr. Enos H. N. Njeru, Ph.D Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences applauded the effort of the Auditor General and said the AG is the first amongst sponsors of many international students to exert all efforts to see the students enrolled and also follow their progress with a visit.
“I can remember when we had a long time discussing on admitting these students, I received over four emails a day personally from the Auditor General, which shows that he takes the process as something for himself and I must applaud him for that”, Dr. Njeru admitted.
Dr. Njeru said the persistence of the Auditor General convinced the University on the need to admit all the 35 students that the GAC wanted to get enroll at the University.
Impressed with AG Morlu
“The entire Board was impressed with this young man, he wrote every member of the board daily, and that was strange as though this was his private initiative, we later knew he was doing this on behalf of a country and no one official from any African country has done this is the entire history of the university”, Dr. Njeru praised the zealousness of AG Morlu.
The Veteran Anthropology Professor said it was saddened to hear the AG is leaving the post because the University was preparing to continue a very strange relationship with his administration due to the efforts.
“We hope those that step in the shoes of this young man will take the education of Liberians as a priority as he has been doing, that will help the country, the University of Nairobi official inquired.
Planning to Honor AG Morlu
The University of Nairobi official disclosed that the University was planning an honoring program for the Auditor General to share with other international students in an attempt to encourage them to prioritize the education of youth from their respective countries.
The head of International link at the University Daniel Kiarie disclosed that there are over 1,000 international students currently enrolled at the University with 294 MOUs.
“It is good to regulate the activities of international students regularly so the visit of Mr. Morlu is a good example, we are proud of the collaboration with the GAC”, Kiarie, Assistant Director Center for International Studies and Link noted.
The interactions between AG Morlu and the University of Nairobi officials lasted for about three hours followed by a tour of the University library and other facilities.
The University of Nairobi is the third rank university in terms of country to country raking next to universities in South Africa and Egypt.
It is ranked 12th in Africa with only universities in South Africa and Egypt overtaking its status.
The university has several campuses in other Kenyan cities including Mombasa, Kisumu and main campus at Lower Kabete.
Signed: Ernest S. Maximore/ Director of Communications, GAC