16 May 2014

Liberian Senate Rejects Us$73m Proposed District Dev. Funds

Monrovia — The Liberian Senate has rejected the House of Representatives proposal for the allotment of one million United States dollars per district as a development fund in 2014-2015 national budget.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex J. Tyler proposed the budgetary allotment of Seventy three million United States dollars to be allocated one million per district, which was endorsed by the full plenary of the House of Representatives pending the Senate concurrence to be implemented in the ensuing national budget for fiscal 2014-2015.

But the Senate Thursday rejected the decision by the House of Representatives after the matter was brought to rest by a motion proffered by Senator Isaac W. Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh County who argued that the House of Representatives violated the Public Financial Management Law of 2009 even though failing to state which provision of the law was violated.

Some Senators, including Senator Frederick Cherue of River Gee County argued that the proposed 73 million does not have a specific target or goal and until a target can be set there is no need to concur with the House of Representatives on the passage of the law.

Like Cherue, Senator Joseph Nagbe of Sinoe County claimed that he has not seen a National development plan by the government that clearly states the targets and objective especially in terms of development. The rejection of the proposed US$73 million by the Senate means the bill will go back to the sender who could either make amendments or act otherwise.

The bill sponsored by House Speaker Alex Tyler was intended, according to the Lawmakers, to make Liberians in isolated parts of the country benefit from their natural resources through Developmental programs, but there has been reports filtering that some LawmakersLawmakers are eying the presidency and intend to use the US$ 73 million as a campaign tool.

The bill was one of the fastest passed by the 53rd National Legislature and was met with mixed reaction from the public, many of whom claimed that it was intended for LawmakersLawmakers to enrich themselves at the detriment of the commoners.

Meanwhile, the Senate is debating a proposed bill crafted by Senator Jonathan Binney of RiverCess County to allocate 15% of the Country National budget to County development. Though the bill has not been finalized many senators are suggesting that it be considered rather than the 73 Million proposal by the House of Representatives.

With the rejection of the bill forms the lower house many see the Senate proposed 15% as another failure as members of the Lower House may seek to avenge their disappointment. In related news, Senate Pro-Temp Gbehzongar Findley has expressed sympathy for his kinsman, Tom Woewiyu who is facing a difficult situation in the United States of America.

Woewiyou who was recently arrested by US Homeland Security is one of the many citizens of Grand Bassa County with interest in contesting against Findley for Senator in the County.

Senator Findley Said: "We are praying with senator Wowiyou he is a friend of mine and people need to understand that not because we get involved into political activities than we are enemies. We have political differences and views on issues, but we are not enemies, so I am very concerned about that and hope that the matter will be resolved."

On whether the arrest of woewiyou has brought him relief as incumbent and Wowiyou as a major contender, he said; "I don't think so because I feel the more people in the race the better it is for me."

Woewiyou at a news conference in Monrovia two months ago declared his interest for the county Senatorial seat saying he does not regret his participation in the country civil conflict, but apologized for those lives that were innocently lost as a result of the crisis.

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