Liberia: GoL Receives 2023 “Shadow Budget” from National Fiscal Transparency Advocacy Group


Monrovia – The Deputy Finance Minister for Budget Tanneh Brumson has praised the National Fiscal Transparency Advocacy Group for soliciting views from Liberians regarding the 2023 National Budget.

The Civil Society Organization through Liberia Fiscal Transparency Advisory Group at the Boulevard Palace submitted the Shadow Budget Option Paper for fiscal year 2023 to the government of Liberia for consideration.

The recommendations of the Shadow Budget are the result of extensive public consultations with ordinary citizens, civil society organizations and the private sector.

Receiving the Shadow Budget option papers on behalf of the government Madam Brumson expressed excitement over the work done by the group.

Madam Brumson added: “Before I go further let me congratulate all of you. This is just the beginning of the many works we will do. I look forward to your participation.”

According to her, the government of Liberia recognizes the importance of engaging citizens and CSOs in fiscal management.

She furthers: “We are committed to institutionalizing public participation in the budget process which has demonstrated the same by providing the opportunity for civil society to make recommendations for consideration through the Shadow Budget Option papers since fiscal year 2019-2020.”

Brumson added that the government during every fiscal year tried to improve the space of opportunity for citizens’ engagement.

Minister Brumson noted that the government took a step further by the establishment of the fiscal transparency advisory group with equal representation of CSOs and GOL adding that for the first time the government along with other partners supported the pilot space of free budget consultations in selected counties.

Brumson: “Today this is a manifestation of our commitment to institutionalizing public participation on behalf of the government. We are pleased to receive these recommendations and we are committed to reviewing them for consideration.”

She said the government will provide feedback on the various recommendations in keeping with the principles of public participation.

Also presenting the Shadow Budget Option Paper for the fiscal year 2023 to the government the Co-chair of the group and Executive Director of Integrity Watch Liberia Herold Aidoo said the Shadow Budget Option Paper presents recommendations for the Government of Liberia consideration for FY 2023 National Budget.

According to him, the recommendations of the Shadow Budget highlight pivot on revenue, expenditure and investments in non-personnel expenditures in the health, education, social development, transparency and accountability and security, and rule of law sectors.

Aidoo said during their nationwide consultations with citizens and CSOs it was recommended that government conducts a comprehensive Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) vulnerability risk assessment with emphasis on the natural resource sector, financial sector, and emerging manufacturing sector and develop appropriate stop-gaps to close these channels to optimize domestic resource mobilization.

The group calls on the national government to mandate all public corporations and state-owned enterprises to publicly publish their annual financial statements to reduce waste and abuse, and take measures for their effective operations in order for them to contribute more to the national budget.

He added: “Government needs to increase investment in reproductive maternal, newborn, child and adolescent services and commodities. Invest in sustainable and efficient electricity for health facilities across the country. Invest in essential logistics for health centers across the country. Invest in essential drugs and medical supplies for health facilities across the country.”

The group further recommends that the government Increase budgetary support for teacher training and deployment to enhance learning outcomes in rural and urban public schools across the country.

Adding up the Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia Shadow Budget Madam Lorretha Popekai extolled the organizers for the conduct of the nationwide consultations. She said civil society actors were excited about the involvement of citizens in the national budget process.

Madam Popekai added: “As we have said repeatedly, citizens’ participation in the budget process leads to responsive budgeting.”

She continues: “We want to appreciate all those that are involved in the process leading to the shadow budget presentation, this shows that together Liberia can move forward in a progressive way. We want to encourage the government to further deepen and strengthen citizens’ participation in the budgeting process.”