Liberia: Sen. Lawrence Questions President Mention of Loans and Grants

President George M. Weah on Inauguration

Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence (front, center): "... the President spoke about several loans and grants, and I don't recall those loans and grants coming through the Liberian budget..."

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, Order and Administration has taken exceptions to President George Manneh Weah's assertion that his government has received several loans and grants.

"I am the co-chair person on Appropriation, Ways, Means and Finance of the Liberian Senate; the President spoke about several loans and grants, and I don't recall those loans and grants coming through the Liberian budget, and I think investigation is needed to know how those appropriations were made," Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence told the Daily Observer yesterday, minutes after President Weah's annual message to the 3rd Session of the 54th Legislature on Capitol Hill.

The Grand Bassa lawmaker, who is up for reelection in the October 2020 midterm Senatorial Elections, promised that her Liberty Party will react to the President's message starting from today, "But I just decided to stress those key points, because when it comes to the state of our economy there are still lapses that we need to look at."

For his part, Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, commenting on the President's Legislative agenda to the 3rd Session of the 54th Legislature, said he was more concerned about the serious seeming shortage of petroleum products on the market, and the emerging report of a new virus known as "coronavirus", which is fast spreading globally.

On the President's reconciliatory message during yesterday's address, Senator Dillon stressed that in order to display honesty and sincerity as a true reconciller, the President must first reconcile with his Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor, who attended yesterday's annual message program, arriving in a very limited vehicle convoy.

Bomi County contesting Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson, in an unprecedented tone, yesterday praised the President's annual message, saying he did well, especially in the area of Agriculture, saying it is about time that the government pays attention and supports that sector for national recovery program.

Also speaking to our reporter was former Minister of Finance, David Fahart, who described the President's message as well put together; but warned that as much as the country needs developmental aid, moneys coming for projects must be appropriately used; "so that if anybody eats that money he can deal with them."

Mr. Fahart, who worked in government of slain President Samuel Kanyon Doe, emphasized that: "if he wants the international community to be greatly supportive, he must take action if the money is misused, because that will give them encouragement to continue to help. He also mentioned that the Executive Mansion, which is the residence of our presidency, needs to be put to work."

The President of the Liberian Council of Churches, Archbishop Kortu Brown, admonished that the President needs to sustain the peace of the country, which he said is the concern of the religious community. "I think his call to maintain the peace is a genuine one," said Bishop Brown.

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