Liberia: Senate Com’ttee Requests Copy of Signed 2022 National Budget￼
MONROVIA – Senator Morris Saytumah of Bomi County, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget on Tuesday made a disclosure that shocked members of the Senate and those witnessing the session when he claimed that the President is yet to sign the 2022 National Budget.
However, Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie came to the Committee Chair’s rescue by claiming what he (Senator Saytumah) said was a slip of tongue and that the President has signed the Budget. He, however, failed to give a reference on where to find the information about the signing 2022 National Budget.
Unlike now, the Executive Mansion has in the past made headlines of the President’s signing of the National Budget.
Senator Saytumah’s statement was in response to an insistence from Senator Darius Dillon of Montserrado County requesting a hard copy of the 2022 Budget to be submitted to the legislature, specifically the Liberian Senate.
The Montserrado County Senator was concerned about why five months after the passage of the Budget in January the Finance Ministry hasn’t submitted a copy of the signed Budget or performance report after the first quarter.
The Constitution gives the President of Liberia a 21-day window period to sign the National Budget after its passage by both Houses of the Legislature but to the surprise of many, the President is yet to sign the Budget almost six months after its passage, according to the Senate Committee chair on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget.
The Legislature passed the 2022 Budget in the tone of US$786.587million with public administration, security and rule of law, health and education topped.
The Senate agreed on the National Budget with a caveat that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning will submit to the legislature, specifically the Senate, a detailed explanation of the country’s domestic debt which stands at over US$85 million.
The Budget was presented to the Legislature by the authorities of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning with the amount of US$786,587,304.
This amount when converted into Liberian dollars at the rate of one Hundred forty Liberian dollars, (140) to one United States Dollars, is L$110,122,227,600.00.
The Budget fiscal measures lines in its totality captured the following, among others, the social development funds including the land rental fees shall be transferred directly to the affected counties, a revenue sharing of 70-30% between the central government and the counties, cities, township, borough for all excess budgetary revenue collection from real property taxes.