By Abdul Rahman Bangura –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS ( NADN ) Freetown, Sierra Leonne- Lawmakers in the House of Representatives in Liberia, have approved a $40 million consensus as a direct budgetary subsidy with the International Development Association (IDA) to literally fund the fiscal year 2019/2020 national budget. Anyhow, the financing agreement, the “First Inclusive Growth Development Policy Operation”, has already been endorsed between the Liberian Government, which was characterized by Finance and Development Planning Minister – Samuel Tweah and the World Bank Country which was affected by its Manager- Dr. Khwima Nthara.
Nonetheless, in congruence with a constitutional prerequisite, President George Weah is pursuing Legislative endorsement to consummate the agreement. From President Weah’s, assertions, out of the $40 million, the first tranche of $20 million is in the form of a grant and the remaining $20 million as IDA concessional credit terms.
“This budget support is important as it will help the government restores the financing gap in the national budget 2019/2020. I trust, the legislature will uphold this agreement to succeed sustainable poverty reduction,” President Weah pleaded with the legislators in his statement.
Going forward, the House through a motion by Rep. Isaac Roland (District #3, Maryland County), suspended its rule and unanimously approved the agreement. Rep. Roland, in his motion stated: “I move, if I can be seen, coded, that the communication from President Weah, considering the reason of virtue of this communication, that the rules are suspended and the one time reading of this communication be consummated and the House turns itself into a committee to pass this instrument if I can obtain a second.”On his part, Rep. Thomas Goshua (District #5, Grand Bassa County) sought challenging plenary’s ‘hasty’ decision in ratifying the agreement. House Speaker – Bhofal Chambers interceded, asserting the agreement has overstayed at the Legislature and owing the necessity of the fund to finance government’s projects in all parts of the country including Joshua’s constituency which was prudent to pass it. On this note, Rep. Goshua forsook his motion of reconsideration and Plenary’s decision was approved. And the agreement will now be greeted to the Senate for co-occurrence.
Supposedly, the IDA’s intervention shows up in the trace of officials from b the Executive and Legislative districts indicating an immediate appropriation shortfall.
Yet, it’s undefined if the awaited $40 million was caught in the FY 2019/2020 national budget of L$110,460,000,000 or US$526,000,000 that was passed in October 2019.
Senior government officials including lawmakers have hailed the IDA’s intervention as a timely intervention. At the signing ceremony was Finance and Development Planning Minister – Samuel D. Tweah, exalted the World Bank Liberia Country Team, Accra-Ghana Team and staff in Washington DC for their well-coordinated approach, which led to the successful signing ceremony.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent