RIA Managing Director-Designate Karnley Fumbles at Senate’s Confirmation Hearing

MONROVIA – The Chamber of the Liberian Senate was a gallery of shame and embarrassment on Monday, August 22, when the Managing Director designate of the Liberia Airport Authority appear for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Transport.

Karnley was nominated by President George Weah as Managing Director of the National Airport Authority amid huge outcry from the public over his lack of requisite credential for the job and his inexperience.

Others raised concerned that Liberia’s international airport could be compromised due to incompetence, something that triggered the senate’s decision to properly investigate the credentials

Despite calls to rescind his nomination, the President upheld his decision. To take up the post as per constitution provision, the Managing Director designate needs to be confirmed by the Liberian Senate.

The first day of the confirmation hearing saw the nominee fumbling several times before the Senate panel and members of public that have crowed in the Senate’s chamber to witness the hearing.

To convince the public, the Executive Mansion placed Karnley’s CV on its website. And it was outlined that he holds a degree.

But Karnley told the Senate that he does not hold a Bachelor degree, rather, a certificate in aircraft maintenance.

“The aviation school is little bit different from normal school,” he said.

When asked whether he was aware of his profile placed on the Executive Mansion Website, the nominee urged members of the committee to quiz him on the credentials he presented to them and not the Executive Mansion because he does not work at the Mansion and has no control over what the Executive Mansion puts out.

Senator Darius Dillon, referencing the Act establishing the RIA said, the act calls for the Managing Director of the RIA to obtain at a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and with Karnley’s admittance, he was unqualified.

According to the Term of Reference of the RIA managing director, Mr. Karnley is tasked with the responsibility to deliver business Strategy and develop system and procedures to improve operational quality and team officials at the airport when confirmed.

His first day of confirmation, however, did not impress majority of the Senator on the confirmation panel. Bong County senator Prince Kermue Moye, a former schoolmate of Kanrley at Cuttington University, advised the nominee to decline or call on President Weah to withdraw his nomination; something he said will help safeguard the image of the his (nominee’s family).

The drama continues when River Gee County Senator Jonathan Sogbie accused the nominee of presenting a fake credentials.

 “The credential of Weah’s nominee for Airport Manager is fake. The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) in Philly does not offer any degree. It’s a trade school like MVTC,” Senator Sogbie stated.

However, Senators including Francis Paye of River Cess County and Milton Teahjay of Sinoe County expressed confidence in the nominee, and at the same time vowed to give him their votes for confirmation.

The Chairman of the committee Daniel Flomo Naathan of Gbarpolu County disclosed that due to the contradicting information from the nominee, the committee will conduct extensive investigation in bringing out the real issue and submit its report to the plenary of the Liberian Senate subsequently.

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