Liberia: Speaker Chambers Eyes Fisheries, Mining and Logging Sectors for Budget Support

Efforts to explore other sectors of Liberia's natural resources endowment that have potential of economic viability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Bhofal Chambers says he's committed to working with his colleagues to ensure funding in the 2019/2020 budget, under scrutiny at the Legislature, that will support a Special Legislative Lead Technical Committee, comprising other technocrats from within the eco-system of the Liberian Government to explore other ways and means about how Liberia can benefit economically from its natural resources, with initial focus on the fisheries, mining, and logging sectors.

According to a release from the office of the Speaker, Dr. Cambers made a direct reference to the Republic of Botswana, which has enviable economic gains in the management of its mining sector. He said will be considered a case study to find a solution to Liberia's problems in the mining sector, where legislative action may deem applicable.

Another case study destination the Speaker mentioned is Norway, with good success story in the management of its fishing industry, juxtaposed to Liberia's fishing Industry potential. The Federal Republic of Germany's successes in the management of its forest sector has also been highlighted as a case study scenario to find a roadmap on how to fix Liberia's challenges in the management of its forestry or logging, where there is a need to make better the laws.

Speaker Chambers elucidated his concerns today at his Capitol Building Office in Monrovia, when he received officials of the Law Reform Commission (LRC), headed by Cllr. Boakai Kanneh, Chairman of the Commission, flanked by Cllr. Felecia Coleman and Cllr. Ruth Jappah, Members of the Commission.

Speaker Chambers with LRC officials

The Speaker informed the LRC commission's officials, that though he's cognizant about the IMF pieces of advice to the Government of Liberia about austerity measure, "but let the truth be told, that no amount of austerity can reach Liberia to its economic heights," he said, "until the country can grow its budget, build the economy, and create the opportunities as well as the environments for its citizens to prosper."

Speaker Chambers says he believes when other potential areas of the Liberian economy are tapped, the national budget of the country can reach a billion dollar, and Liberia could get on a trajectory to becoming a middle income country.

For his part, Cllr. Boakai Kanneh, Chairman of the Law Reform Commission (LRC) told Speaker Chambers that most of the laws of the country are been deemed antiquated and there is a need to rewrite several of the country's laws to fit in with present day realities. He says even the Constitution of Liberia is incomplete.

Cllr. Kanneh further says that the act creating the Law Reform Commission (LRC) gives it a responsibility to closely work with the Legislature to give their opinions or review on every piece of legislation they received, during and after passage, before reaching the President for signature. He described the commission's workings with the Legislature as crucial.

Cllr. Kanneh divulged that his Commission has drawn up a policy document referred to as the National Law Reform Policy, and the Commission will be resubmitting said document to the Legislature in the soonest possible time. In closing, Cllr. Kanneh says most of the problems with some sectors of the Liberian economy have got to do with the kinds of laws governing the sectors, but promised to work with the Legislature to help fix the challenges.

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