Liberian ECOWAS Parliamentarian Team Reports on ‘Full’ Levy Compliance; Security, Political Situations

Flashback photo of the May 2018 ECOWAS Parliament’s opening session in Abuja of the Liberian Delegation, Amb. Conteh and other guests from the Liberian Legislature

(Abuja, May 13, 2019:) The Liberian Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament has reported to the regional parliamentary body the country’s progress amidst challenges.

The Delegation’s assertion was contained in its 2019 Country Report submitted to the ECOWAS Parliament on Monday, May 13, 2019, as read by the Head of Delegation, Representative Edwin M. Snowe, Jr of Bomi County, a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says.

The Country Report was jointly compiled by all five members of the Delegation, including the Head of Delegation, Representative Edwin M. Snowe, Jr of Bomi County, Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County who is the Third Deputy Speaker for the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo of Lofa County and Representatives Clarence K.M. Massaquoi and Haja F. Siryon of Lofa and Bomi Counties respectively.

According to the release, the Liberian Delegation’s Country Report covers The Status of the Implementation of the Community Texts and Ratification of Community Protocols and Conventions; Implementation of the Community Programs and Community Levy, and the Country’s Political Situation.

It also covers Security Situation and Refugee Situation in the Region; the Status of Implementation of the ECOWAS Macro-Economic Program as it relates to Level of Achievement of Convergence Criteria; the Status of Implementation of the ECOWAS Infrastructural and Transportation Policies and Program and the Sensitization Activities carried out by Parliamentarians.

“Consequently, this report is in fulfillment of Liberia’s full compliance”, the report reads.

According to the Delegation, Liberia is currently in compliance with the Community Levy payments and has honored its obligation by paying its ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) on a month to month basis since January 2019 to present.

On the security situation, the report adds that besides minor instances of security breaches involving criminal activities, the country faces no imminent threat or danger: “The National Security apparatus continues to demonstrate gallantry over the state of affairs in providing security for its citizens and foreigners as well.”

The Delegation however added in its report that recent political events unfolding in the country have the propensity to further shatter Liberia’ already fragile peace if steps are not taken to arrest the situation, the release continues.

“A case in point is a planned demonstration slated for June 7, 2019 by a group named and styled “Council of Patriots” under the theme “SAVE THE STATE” and some members of the opposition block particularly the four major opposition political parties named and styled Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). The four leading opposition parties have endorsed the protest. However, the President has called for a dialogue and has invited the leaders of the Council of Patriots to a meeting on tomorrow, 14th May which is National Unification Day and is observed as a national holiday”, the Liberian legislators informed their regional counterparts.

On infrastructures, the report acknowledged the country’s underdeveloped road network but however stated that Liberia has made significant progress in that direction. The report names Liberia’s secured funding for the pavement of the Logatuo/Danane trans−regional highway linking Cote d’ Ivoire and Liberia, with a modern border post expected to be constructed along that route with the aim to facilitate trade and commerce, as some of the steps being taken by the current administration in that direction.

The Liberian Delegation then used the occasion to announce the country’s readiness to host the ECOWAS Parliament’s next Extra Ordinary Session in September of this year.

“The President [of Liberia], national leadership as well as the entire citizenry of Liberia looks forward to receiving the Speaker, Members, the Secretary General, Directors as well as Staff of the ECOWAS Parliament in Liberia for our next Extra Ordinary Session in September of this year. His Excellency President George Manneh Weah has given the necessary directives to ensure that the session is successful”, the Delegation proudly announced.

The First Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament commenced on May 8, 2019 and will continue until June 3, 2019, the release concludes.

From Nat Bayjay, Minister Counselor for Press & Public Affairs – Liberian Embassy/Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria

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