At long last President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has finally signed the 2013/14 National Budget of US$581 million into law following a protracted delay.
Presidential Press Secretary, Jerolinmek Matthew Piah, told this paper via mobile phone on Monday afternoon that President Sirleaf signed the national budget upon her return from Grand Gedeh County.
When specifically asked when did the President sign, he failed to categorically give detail, but insisted, "All I can tell you is the budget has been signed; that has been the concern of you, I cannot say anything beyond this point."
On September 12, 2013, the Liberian Senate concurred with members of the House of Representatives on the passage of the 2013/14 National Budget, submitted by the Executive Branch of Government, through the Finance Ministry.
President Johnson Sirleaf has delayed in signing the budget, and recently said on a local station that there were lots enshrined in the budget that needed to be removed.
The Liberian Legislature which include, the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate, and the Executive Branch of government failed at the time to give any concrete reason that led to the delay in the passage and signing of the budget into law.
On August 9, 2013, the House of Representatives passed the 2013/14 national budget following a special session, and subsequently forwarded same to the Liberian Senate for its possible concurrence. The lower House passed the budget without any significant increment, meaning the 2013/14 Fiscal Budget stands at US$581 million.
The Senate equally failed to make any increment in civil servants' salary, but only legislated President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's general increment of US$25 for civil servants contained in her 2013 Annual Massage. The passage of the 2013/14 national budget saw the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) contributing US$8 million.