Liberia: Senate Cites Ministry of Finance And Development Planning Minister on Domestic And External Debt Services

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MONROVIA – The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has mandated the Secretary of Senate, Nanbolor F. Singbeh to cite the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, on Thursday February 24, 2022 to appear before a “Committee of a Whole”.

The Minister will appear to provide more clarity on the USD$120m (One Hundred Twenty Million United States Dollars) Domestic and External Debt Services owed by the Government of Liberia.

The Senate decision was triggered by a concern raised by Montserrado County, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 during the 11th day sitting of the Liberian Senate.

Senator Dillon further told Plenary that every fiscal year, there are monies placed in the National Budget for external debts services with no performance report sent to the Legislature by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning informed Plenary that out of the total amount owed vendors, US$84.95 million constituting 70.8 percent was appropriated for domestic debt services to pay for interest on instruments to both Commercial Banks and the Central Bank of Liberia as well as vendors claims confirmed by the court and regular vendors claims that have accuminated to the amount of US$705.09 million as of December 31, 2021 while US$35.05 Million account for external debt services.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through a communication sent to the Senate, the Government of Liberia is indebted to various Commercial Banks in the amount of US$109.4 million through the issuance of various instruments and other direct advances.

The communication from MFDP to the Senate further noted that GOL was constrained to issue Promissory Notes to the commercial banks in 2019 due to its exposure in the tone of US$65 million for various advances to road contractors, Ebola relief fund to the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia as well as other long standing obligations before the administration of President George M. Weah.

The Ministry also added that GOL is indebted to private entities such as Building Materials Center in the tune of US$2.83m and Alliance Motors and Prestige Motors in the amount of US$20 Million, which the Government of Liberia appropriated

US$ 808,956.15 and US$975,834.77 for PMC/AMC to service the MOUs entered into with them.

In a related development, members of the Liberian Senate in session unanimously voted to cite authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia on Thursday, February 24, 2022 before the Senate as a “Committee of a Whole” to also provide clarification on the mandate of Plenary regarding the printing and circulation of monies infused in the economy as citizens are still experiencing increase in mutilated notes.

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