News Column

Finance Minister's Request Denied

May 9, 2014

Necus M. Andrews

The House of Representatives has denied Finance Minister Amara Konneh's request to appear before them Thursday to address two separate issues at once.

Minister Konneh was last Tuesday summoned by the lawmakers to give reasons for continued budget shortfall.

The Finance Minister is being requested to appear and state which sector of the economy is not responding to government's revenue support.

The House's decision to summon Minister Konneh was triggered by a communication by Grand Kru County Representative Numene Bartewa.

Rep. Bartewa observed that the continued budget shortfall is a serious national financial problem facing the Government of Liberia.

According to Rep. Bartewa, the repeated shortfall in the country's budget is negatively undermining service delivery programs.

He said as a result of this repeated budget shortfalls, essential programs and projects for which funds were appropriated in the national budget cannot be attended to as the budget year virtually comes to an end.

The Grand Kru County lawmaker said the issue of budget shortfall was even becoming worse day by day for which other essential programs and projects of government cannot be successfully implemented.

"These were the very financial problems that the Government of Liberia did not want to experience in the future for which it signed and ratified about sixty-six concession agreements valued at six billion United Stated dollars since the inception of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led government eight years ago," Rep. Bartewa recorded.

However, in a communication to the Plenary of the House of Representatives, Finance Minister Konneh requested the lawmakers to allow him appear next Thursday to address these two issues.

Minister Konneh said he was busy with other national issues and would not be able to appear before the lawmakers on two separate occasions.

Our Legislative reporter said following the reading of Minister Konneh's communication, the lawmakers said they want the minister to appear separately because the issues at bar are separate.

Majority lawmakers including Speaker Alex Tyler said Minister Konneh will appear in line with the two different invitations on grounds that he's not busy than any official of government.

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Source: AllAfrica

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