MONROVIA – Liberia’s current domestic debt stands at over eight hundred million United States Dollars and that is exclusive of foreign debt. The disclosure was made Thursday by the Senate Ways, Means and Finance Committee.
The Senate Committees on Public Accounts and Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning have recommended a speedy investigation into claims of domestic debts in order to establish legitimacy.
The committees are also recommending that the Legislature passes a law that will establish a statute of limitations for creditors of the state which will enable vendors of the state to claim their debt within a given period.
Senator Prince Moye of Bong County who Co-chaired the Senate Ways, Means and Finance Committee said the quick investigation by the General Auditing Commission (GAC will help the Legislature appropriate money for the payment in the Budget.
“We have to craft a law for debt payment or else it will be a vicious circle of paying the domestic debt because most of them use the court to claim their debts,” Senator Moye said.
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon who has been a major advocate for the full disclosure of Liberia’s domestic debt thanked the Committee and also expressed concern over the failure of the Committee to obtain the full list of people and businesses owed by the Liberian government.
In March, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., told the Liberian Senate that the Government of Liberia does not have a fully comprehensive list of all its domestic debts owed from the era of the country’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts to incumbent President George Manneh Weah’s administration.
A day before he was due to appear before the Liberian Senate, Mr. Tweah told state broadcaster ELBC on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, that government does not have all those documents requested concerning a comprehensive domestic debt of the country.
In the interview simulcasted on other local radio stations here, Mr. Tweh, however, said the government is working with the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to have the full list of all government domestic debts cataloged.
According to Minister Tweh, a full list of domestic debt which was settled by the government was presented to the Liberian Senate in a comprehensive manner.
He said after the payment of those debts, they received an additional claim from over 2000 individuals and institutions who said the Government of Liberia was owing them.