Liberia: AfDB Country Director Threatens Canceling Funds For Liberia Due to the Legislature’s Delay in Ratifying Some Legal Instruments


MONROVIA – Mr. Benedict Sorie Kanu, the African Development Bank Country Representative to Liberia, has threatened to personally head the cancellation of funds intended for Liberia’s development projects due to delays by the legislature in ratifying some of the legal requirements that come along with the funds.

By: Henry Karmo [email protected]

During a visit with Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie and some members of the Senate leadership on Tuesday, Mr. Kanu expressed disappointment in the Government over the delays in ratifying some of the loan agreements that have already been approved by the bank. According to him, despite numerous reminders sent to the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweh, some of the loan agreements are either at the legislature or have not been sent.

Mr. Kanu explained that there have been many delays in the ratification of agreements by the legislature, and this has implications for the amount of money and the timeliness for the mobilization of such funds that could be used for road, energy, and other developmental activities. He stated, “I have sent two written reminders to the Minister of Finance for a pending ratification under the emergency food crisis response. The amount is very small, with both a grant and a loan component, at least 3 million of the loan and a million as a grant. The grant is ready to be disbursed, but the loan component is not yet. It was approved five months ago. Pro-temp, this is how money will be canceled for Liberia, and I will personally head that because I have sent too many reminders to the Minister of Finance, and I hate to pinpoint them, but my job is to carry the voice of the bank.”

In response, the Senate Pro-tempore issued a disclaimer, stating that there is no such financing agreement at the Senate. “As far as I am aware, we have passed all the financing agreements. Probably, it is with the House because, as per the constitution, financing agreements generate from the House of Representatives.”

Pro-Tempore Chie assured the visiting African Development Bank (ADB) Delegation of the Liberian Senate’s commitment to ensuring free, fair, and violence-free elections through its oversight responsibility. He assured the delegation of transparency and good governance, especially as the country moves towards its critical period of Presidential and Legislative elections in October this year. He told the delegation that this is evidenced by the passage of several anti-graft acts, including the Anti-Corruption Act, which now grants prosecutorial power, and the passage of the Financial Intelligent Unit, which was elevated to a full agency, amongst others.

Speaking earlier, the head of the African Development Bank delegation, Ahmed Zayed, told the Senate that the delegation was in the country to assure the Government that the African Development Bank will continue its efforts in road construction and the improvement in the energy sector. The visiting delegation, however, informed the Senate that although the African Development Bank has the intention to do more, its financial strength cannot satisfy the entire forty-six countries in Africa, especially when the needs of the countries are so many.

The delegation encouraged domestic resource mobilization as well as reform so as to help augment the strength of the national budget, noting that there cannot be viable foreign direct investment in any country if there is no national direct investment.