Liberia Legislature Finally Approve U.S.$600 Million

House's Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Bong County District # 5 Representative Prince Moye
House’s Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Bong County District # 5 Representative Prince Moye

The newly appointed House’s Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Bong County District # 5 Representative Prince Moye and the Senate’s Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh, have separately announced that the 2016/2017 National Budget has been endorsed jointly.

The 2016/2017 Budget has been at the Legislature for over four months, and was not acted upon due to the in-house division over the recusal of Speaker J. Alex Tyler, which spilled over to the Senate.

Rep. Moye, the Chairman on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and his co-Chairman, Sen. Dagoseh, said last week that the scrutinized 2016/2017 Budget was submitted simultaneously to both Houses, on Tuesday, September 20.

The thorough and rapid scrutiny of the 2016/2017 Budget – which took about 10 days – was in continuation of the Budget Hearing under the former chairman, Rep. Moses Y. Kollie, who was replaced due to his alliance to recused Speaker J. Alex Tyler.

The Joint Legislative Committee led by Rep. Kollie started the Budget Hearing the first week in June and continued with the Expenditure Hearing in early July, but stopped owing to the internal conflict over the Speaker’s recusal, which led to a parallel session.

Rep. Kollie and four other pro-Tyler lawmakers, including Rep. Sekou Kanneh, Rep. S. Gayah Karmoh, Rep. Mariamu Fofana and Rep. Zoe Pennoh, were replaced on the Leadership Committee.

It may be recalled that the National Budget should have been submitted to the Legislature in April, but owing to constraints, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, through Finance Minister Boima Kamara, finally submitted the 2016/2017 Budget on the May 16, in the amount of US$555.9 million.

After the submission, the 2016/2017 Budget should have been endorsed before the Legislature’s annual break, constitutionally scheduled for August 30.

In the wake of the delay, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued a proclamation, affording one month’s extension from September 1-30 to enable lawmakers to complete their legislative duty.

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About Cholo Brooks 13149 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.