Liberia: AFL Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Prince Johnson Frowns on Inadequate Budget Support to the Security Sector
Monrovia – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson has decried the inadequate financial support the security sector continues to endure despite pending tension-packed elections.
Maj. Gen. Johnson spoke on the issue without mincing his words when the Ministry of Finance launched the change of the government of Liberia’s Fiscal Year from July to June – to a single calendar year.
The launch of the “Special Budget Preparation” for the Fiscal Year 2021/2022 at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town brought together Heads of Ministries, Agencies, and Corporations to brainstorm on plans to bring relief to the struggling country’s economic system.
The issues about growing the revenues, reducing the wage bills, and opening the fiscal space were placed high among other things. Also, the formulation of the 2021/2022 fiscal year toe need of all government entities were placed on high on the agenda.
Maj. Gen. Johnson stressed that citizens and stakeholders expect security sector to perform but said inadequate support to security sector would hamper their effectiveness.
“We have changed since 2018 to now. We have started our new fiscal budget from January to December and the special budget I saw up there with priority – I have been looking – I have not seen anything for the security sector,” Maj. Gen. Johnson said.
He added, “Many of you in this room have revisited your timing in going home of recent; looking at what is obtaining in our country, and to my surprise 2023 is not far.”
“We are currently in 2020 leading toward the Special Senatorial election and we are seeing the tension and the analysis already speaks.
“Minister Brunson I did not see anything; how possible security sector is left out? Sometimes, you want us to perform miracle, but cannot we do it.”
“We just saw over 200 Guineans demonstrating last week that blocked traffic for six hours. And for this coming January, you don’t have anything there for the security sector? How do you expect us to perform 2023 election,” Maj. Gen. Johnson said.
In response, the Deputy Minister for Budget Tenneh Brunson said the budget displayed by her was only preliminary, adding that the final decision was going to be made by the cabinet.