13 June 2017

Liberia: MFDP Exposes Agriculture Ministry

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has 'exposed' the Ministry of Agriculture at the start of hearings on the expenditure component of the 2017/2018 fiscal budget.

MFDP said US$5 million allotment in the 2016/2017 budget of the Agriculture Ministry did not have programs.

Deputy Finance and Development Planning Minister for Budget Tarnneh Brumson told the hearing that those kinds of things should not be happening.

The Deputy Finance Minister's revelation caught the attention of members of the Joint Legislative budget committee and observers at the budget hearing, raising concerns as to how the money was used.

According to our reporter, Madam Brumson's revelation was not challenged by representatives from the Agriculture Ministry.

She quickly pleaded with the lawmakers for the issue to be discussed behind close door.

Our reporter said the issue was brought out when officials at the Agriculture Ministry were quizzed by the lawmakers as to why the US$5 million approved by the legislature was not expended when other institutions needed money to operate.

In response to the inquiry, Deputy Agriculture Minister for Technical Services and Minister-designate, Seckla Wade said her ministry requested for the money but it was not disbursed by the Finance Ministry.

Madam Wade said her Ministry processed everything that was required to access the money, but the Finance Ministry did not release it.

After exchanging accusations, the Chairman on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Prince Moye granted Deputy Minister Brumson's appeal for close door discussion to avoid public ridicule.

Representative Moye has meanwhile called on the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to make available all required documents to aid the budget hearing.


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