Liberia: Amid Controversy over US$15k Legislative Engagement Fund, Sen. Saah Joseph Says He Awaits Remaining US$15k
Monrovia – Amid damning condemnation from the public against members of the legislature on receiving US$15K from state coffers for legislative engagement, Senator Saah Joseph of Montserrado County says he is eagerly awaiting the remaining US$15K to sum it up to the US$30k as budgeted.
At a news conference Tuesday, June 22, 2021, the Montserrado County Senator ignored public condemnations against members of the legislature for taking an astronomical amount in the wake of the economic woes befallen the country.
The Montserrado County lawmaker said he needs the balance to pay off duty fees for 10 40ft containers of medical supplies promised to him by partners in the Americas and Europe.
According to him four of the 10 containers are from the Liberian community in Australia. He also announced that another organization in the UK has donated two 40ft containers, and another organization in California also donated 2 containers containing PPEs for the fight against COVID-19.
Senator Joseph told the media that it will cost him US$100K to transport the 10 containers to Liberia, and promised to use his portion of the US$15K received by each senator as part payment for shipment of containers and hopes that the remaining US$15K to pay for the shipment.
“Each members of the senate received 15k for development purpose. I want to say this to the people of Montserrado County that the US15$K received by me as senator will be sent toward the payment of those containers. I want to appeal to the honorable Liberian Senate for the balance US15K to be added for the payment of those containers,” Senator Joseph said.
He promised to personally underwrite the balance cost of US$70K and to do that, he said, he will slow down on the construction of his technical and vocational institution and proceeds from his personal businesses will be diverted to the cost of paying for clearing fees of thee containers.
Senator Joseph’s request comes in the wake of his Montserradian counterpart, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon’s donation of his share of the funds to the Montserrado County Health Team following earlier rejection from the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE).
The rejection of the US$15k by LACE comes a day after Senator Dillon disclosed that he would turn over the money to LACE after a barrage of public criticism over why he accepted money he once categorized as corruption.
Like LACE, the Health Minister Dr. Jallah instructed the Montserrado County health team to return US$7,500 to the Senator a day after he had donated the money to the County as help in the fight against the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.