Liberia: President Weah Vetoes Bill to Repeal Law Establishing Tumutu Vocational Training Center

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Monrovia – President George Mannah Weah has vetoed a Bill from the Liberian Senate seeking to transform the Tumotu Vocational Institute into an agriculture and technical college in Bong County.

The Liberian Senate recently sought the President’s approval of the Bill. But he vetoed it, citing financial constraint, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh said Tuesday, 24 March during the Executive Mansion press briefing.

“As you [mat] know, what we are going through currently and this training center is receiving sponsorship form our international partners which is also captured in our budget and to move it swiftly from its current status and make it a technical college will need extra funding,” Kelgbeh said.

Signing the bill, according to the Presidential Press Secretary, would prevent sponsors from giving almost US$16 Million to the Liberian government for the institution

Kelgbeh noted that President Weah believes that it was prudent to keep the institution at where it is rather than changing its status, adding that the Bill could be reconsidered in the future once the country’s economy gets better than what it is.

“In that vein, the President has directed the Minister of Education and the Minister of Youth and Sports to work with the Bong County Legislative Caucus in upgrading the institution,” he said. “If you upgrade [the school], it will create jobs for other people, but it needs funding.”

The House of Representatives during its September 24, 2019 sitting concurred with the Senate to pass a bill seeking to change the status of the vocational training institute to a college of agriculture and technical studies.

The Bill, which originated from the Senate, was submitted by Senator Henrique Tokpa and was backed by the Bong County Legislative Caucus before it reached the lower house.

Meanwhile, President Weah approved the recast budget of fiscal year 2019/2020 on Monday, March 23.

The Liberian leader also submitted to the Liberian Senate for ratification, a US$5.9 Million loan agreement between Liberia and the African Development Fund.

Funding from the agreement is expected to revive the renewal energy sector and beef-up electricity in country by constructing of a hydro in Nimba County.

According to Kelgbeh, President Weah has also sent to the Senate a loan agreement for the upgrading of the Konia to Vonjaima Road project worth US$25 Million.

At the same time, Kelgbeh said President Weah remains committed to the enforcement of public health regulations aimed at curbing the Coronavirus outbreak.

The warning to government officials on abiding by all of the protocols remains the same and that “would be violators” stand the risk of being dealt with, the President Press Secretary warned.

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