27 January 2014

Liberia: NPA Responds to Finance Minister - Says It Contributed U.S.$4 Million

Finance Minister Amara Konneh is at the receiving end of vituperations in the wake assertions he made regarding the dwindling state of the Liberian economy, blaming the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and other autonomous agencies of movement of reluctance in the performance of their sacred duties.

Few days after the CBL strongly detested and rebuffed his assertions that the Bank had infused L$8b in the national economy, the National Port Authority (NPA) has taken similar stance, debunking and dismissing the Finance Minister comments that NPA did not fully respond to the 2013/2014 national budget in terms of making full payment of what it should have contributed to the budget.

Managing Director, Madam Mitalda Parker, said the NPA has over the past time contributed four million United States dollars in support of the 2013/2014 national budget.

She told reports following a closed-door hearing with members of the Senate that there was a different between budget and contribution, and said she was of the conviction that the minister misunderstands how contributions and budget work. Apart from stating that the entity has contributed US4 million to the national budget, Madam Parker also dismissed assertions by the Minister Konneh that the ministry of finance was finding it difficult in collecting government revenue at the Port for the speedy development of the country.

"It is unfortunate to hear that the Finance Ministry labeling such allegation against the NPA, where they have revenue agents and widows," she noted.

Meanwhile, the NPA boss has disclosed that the Port of Greenville in Sinoe County lacks "the requisite equipment in handling cargos," noting "as the results government is finding very difficult to generate revenue."

During his appearance before the House of Representatives, Minister Konneh provided reasons for the shortfall in the budget, the poor state of the economy, and the climbing rate of the US dollars against the Liberian dollars among others in the country. He accused several government agencies of refusing to support the national budget, something which according to him is responsible for the shortfall in the budget.

Liberia Maritime Authority, National Port Authority of Liberia and the Liberia Petroleum Referring Corporation are those he claimed are not supporting the budget.

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