15 June 2017

Liberia: Education Minister Disclaims U.S.30.9 Million

The Minister of Education George Werner has placed a clear disclaimer on an allotment of US$30.9m for his Ministry in the 2016/2017 Fiscal Budget.

In his presentation during a hearing of the draft 2017/2018 national budget Monday, the press bureau of the National Legislature said Minister Werner failed to delve into the US$30.9m budgetary allotment on ground that he had no knowledge about that money assigned to his ministry.

Speaking on the Ministry's 2016/17 appropriation, Minister Werner explained that the Legislature had allotted US$44,686,749.34, and over the operational year of fiscal 2016/17, a net transfer of US$3,269,721.66 occurred from the original appropriation, thus representing a reduction of 7.27% of the original appropriation.

He said the budget was reduced to US$41,686,749.34, representing 92.73% of the original budget.

The Education Minister indicated that the FY 2016/17, reductions were recorded per category of expenditure as follows: use of Goods and Services was reduced by 35%, consumption of fixed capital by 57% and grants recorded an 18% reduction.

The Minister stressed that the reduction and transfer has negatively affected some major lines in the Ministry's budget. He maintained that the amount allocated for the renting or leasing of housing facilities for Peace Corps Volunteers was 100% transferred.

He also told the Joint Committee that he was one of the driving forces behind the development of the national subsidies policy, but he did not know how institutions that are benefiting from government's subsidies managed to surface on the list.

He said the Ministry has deleted 1,900 ghost names from the Government of Liberia payroll, noting "Already, 1,000 names have been recruited to augment the actual and active teachers on duty."

He added that there are 10,000 active teachers throughout the country on the Ministry of Education's payroll.

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