Local NGO Engages Legislature to Enactment County Social Development Fund into Law
Monrovia – The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) have begun holding consultations with a group of youthful lawmakers for the crafting and subsequent enactment of a ‘stand-alone’ County Social Development Fund Law.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]
According to the Program Director of NAYMOTE, Aaron Weah-Weah II, the rationale behind the enactment of the law is to increase citizens’ participation in the management of the County Social Development Fund.
Since the Government of Liberia began the appropriation of County Social Development fund (CSDF), there have been reports of its misapplications and citizens’ alienation from the management process.
But with staunch advocacy from the civil society organizations, the management of the CSDF was embedded in section Nine of the new Budget law of Liberia.
Mr. Weah-Weah said although the new law provides some level of citizen’s inclusion in the management process, making the CSDF an independent instrument will expand avenue for citizens’ participation.
He made the assertions at a day-long forum with some youthful members of the House of Representatives recently at the Capitol Building.
Said Weah-Weah: “Recently through the NRM Coalition, we successfully passed the budget law which was amended to ensure that citizens have more involvement in the management of the County Social Development Fund. So, basically in as much as we celebrate that achievement, we want this to not just be a budget law, rather a law that will stand on its own to be able to just speak specifically to the management and administration of the County social Development Fund. I believe that this medium will be used to proffer or champion such bill.”
He further noted that the meeting was also intended to discuss with the youth lawmakers about the establishment of the Youth Legislative Platform, which is modeled after the Youth Parliamentarian Forum, an international body that is made up of youthful parliamentarians.
The lawmakers were drilled through Section Nine of the budget law that highlights the administration and management of the CSDF and the holding of Counting Sitting.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Grand Bassa County District #5 Representative, Thomas Goshua lauded NAYMOTE for the initiatives and pledged their support towards a ‘stand-alone’ bill.
Rep. Goshua added that there was a need to increase citizens’ participation in the management of the (CSDF), something he said has been missing over the years.
“I am very grateful because I was one person that actually advocated that citizens should be actively participating in the County Sitting, and now that the leverage has been given, even though not fully, but at least some have been given to them and they can now select people that they think should go represent them at the County sitting,” he said.
“With these additional information and education that has been provided, it has simplified everything. We can even use this now to start an educational program within the counties where we can engage the radio stations to present this new budget law section Nine that relates specifically to the holding of this County Sitting.”