25 February 2013

Liberia: House Summons Top Officials

The House of Representatives has summoned the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, the Minister of Finance and the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority to appear before plenary to explain why rural dwellers are not benefiting from their 30 percent rights under the Forestry Law.

The 2006 Forestry Reform Law provides 30 percent benefit for citizens in affected communities in the forestry sector.

The decision to summon the three government officials was triggered by a complaint from Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie.

Representative Kollie told the House of Representatives that the Forestry Reform Law which provides that 30 percent from money generated in forestry sector should be given to citizens in affected counties and 40 percent be given to the Finance Ministry as general revenue but he claimed that this was not being implemented since its ratification in 2009.

He told his colleagues that it has been noticed since 2009, the affected communities were yet to receive their fund, although operations in their areas have since begun.

Representative Kollie justified that Finance Minister Amara Konneh, CBL Executive Governor Mills Jones and FDA Managing Director Harris Kanwea would appear to explain about the people's 30 percent benefit.

"It's disheartening that since 2009 you have community funds being kept at the Central Bank without benefiting the targeted people," Kollie said.

The three government officials are expected to appear Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

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