6 December 2012

Liberia: Finance Explains U.S.$235 Million Expenditure

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has given details of how it expended US$235 million allotment to line ministries and agencies for the second quarter into its execution of the national budget for the current fiscal year 2012/2013.

A release issued Tuesday said the MOF disclosure is part of its statutory responsibility to inform the general public of major actions that government has adopted to safeguard public resources as well as to effectively manage the economy.

"Over the past few months, several reform initiatives have been undertaken in the areas of revenue collection, budget transparency, expenditure management, customers' relations, and business friendly environment," the Ministry quoted Finance Minister Amara Konneh as saying.

The Ministry said reform initiatives in the expenditure process instituted following the approval of the Fiscal year 2012/2013 budget has registered strong success, which has greatly helped the expenditure side of the budget execution.

The release revealed that out of the US$235 million requested in allotment by line ministries and agencies for the second quarter, the Ministry has processed US$227 million out of which US$170 million has been paid.

"Consistent with Government's pronouncement of undertaking tangible projects and investing in the domestic private sector, US$20.2 million has been paid on Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP), while US$6.6 million has been spent on Liberian owned businesses, the MOF release stated.

Minister Konneh further explained that the investment in PSIP has focused on the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee (US$3.1 million); Construction of new HFO Plant (US$5 million); and rehabilitation of various roads (US$12 million).

MOF said among roads under construction are Monrovia city streets, Marshall Road, Jamaica road, Duport road, Clara Town road, AB Tolbert road, and SKD Blvd, among others.

"The Ministry of Finance is in the final stages of concluding a US$875m grant agreement with the European Development Bank to finance the rehabilitation of Mt. Coffee Hydro," the release noted.

Moreover, the MOF said it has also approved US$3m allotment for the commencement of rehabilitation works at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, noting that the first phase of the rehabilitation will focus on the purchase of navigational aids, reconditioning of the runway, terminal and airport renovation.

The Ministry said it remains committed to ensuring that civil servants receive their December salaries by the 10th and payment of future salaries between the 15th and 20th of every month, adding that civil servant salary payments for the month of November were effected between 10th and 15th respectively.

The MOF said it plans to improve its customer's service to vendors and customers, stating that vendors whose payments have been translated into printed checks will be called immediately after the checks and the releases are signed.

"The strong macroeconomic performance over recent years and the Government's commitment to addressing the challenges ahead have been acknowledged by the IMF and resulted in the approval of a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility by the IMF Executive Board on Monday 19 November 2012," the Ministry noted.

"T-Bills' primary benefit will be a tool of cash management, allowing the government to manage the profile of revenue during the fiscal year, and this should lead to better budget execution," the release indicated.

MOF concluded that T-Bills' primary benefit will be a tool of cash management that allows the government to manage the profile of revenue during the fiscal year, which should lead to better budget execution.

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