3 January 2013

Liberia: 'We're Committed to TRC Report' - Rep. Fahnbulleh Says

A Member of the ruling Unity Party, Montserrado County 4th District Rep. Henry Boimah Fahnbulleh, has declared that the Unity Party led Government is committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) report.

Fahnbulleh's declaration came admits pounding of questions from Moderator, Al Jerome Chede and the audience who wanted to know where he stands on the implementation of the TRC report?

Rep. Fahnbulleh assured his audience that he is fully ready and prepared to work with his colleagues from all sides of the isle, to ensure the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation report and its recommendations.

Fahnbulleh gave the assurance when he along with his colleague, also a Montserrado County Rep. Solomon George were addressed Liberians at the Brooklyn Center Youth Community Center (BCYCC), in the state of Minnesota on Sunday, December 23.

Nevertheless Fahnbulleh pointed out, "I am not speaking on behalf of the Unity Party led government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as a Legislator, because I know, I belong to the first branch of Government (the Legislature)."

On the waiver of Liberia's external debt by the International Community, Rep. Fahnbulleh, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted that Liberia's entire external debt was waived one hundred percent.

He explained that what this mean is, "Liberia is again credit worthy and can borrow loans from international financial institutions/organizations including; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), European Union (EU), Paris Club (PC), among others."

Rep. Fahnbulleh said prior to wiping out Liberia's external debt, certain benchmarks were set by the International Financial Institutions, which Liberia must meet as a pre-condition to being extended credit worthy privileges.

He revealed that Liberia met those benchmarks as a result, she was qualified for the waiver of debt, which amounted to nearly five billion United States dollars (US$5B). He did not however say what those benchmarks were.

The Liberian Legislator indicated that this was a result of collective efforts by all including; the Ministries of Finance & Economic Planning, Justice, Foreign Affairs, the Civil Society and the general Liberian populace.

On the issue of the full restoration of electric power to the entire Republic, Rep. Fahnbulleh said it hoped by the year 2014, full electric power will be restored throughout Liberia.

The Liberian Lawmaker's estimation sharply contradicts Candidate now President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf pledge during her 2005 presidential campaign.

During her bid for the Liberian presidency, Candidate, now President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf pledged to restore full electric power to Liberia within six months of her election to the Liberian presidency.

Unfortunately, six and half years after her election, Monrovians alone, are yet to see the electricity as pledged, let alone the rest of the country.Political Observers are wondering what Candidate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf foresaw, to have made such an outrageous pledge?

However, Fahnbulleh disclosed that ten million United States dollars (US$10M) has been set aside, by the Government of Liberia for the expansion of electric power throughout the length and breadth of the country.

He further explained that Liberia pays fifty-six cents (56 cents) on every United States dollar towards the maintenance of electric power, a payment he described as the highest in the entire West African sub-region.

On the status of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Rep Fahnbulleh said the corporation now operates in partnership, with an Indian national serving as the Managing Director/Partner.

Fahnbulleh explained that at the inception of the Johnson-Sirleaf administration in 2005, the Liberian Government did not have the funding to manage the corporation as a sole enterprise as such, it had to form partnership.

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