The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

House Endorses Request For Additional Funding

By Edwin G. Wandah & Mozettor Zinnah

The Plenary of the House of Representatives yesterday granted a request from the Minister of State and Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, requesting for additional funding from the previous budget.

Minister McGill’s request for more funding was predicated upon growing concerns of additional funding to run the government, since indeed, the current 2019-2020 fiscal budget had not been passed.

Yesterday, the Plenary of the House of Representatives’ invitation to invite Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweh, to give clarity on the issue of legislative authorization for spending beyond the stipulated one/two (1/12) which is required by Section 17 of the PMF Law, was key, giving that the fear of some of the Lawmakers, including Representative Clarence Massaquoi of Lofa County that the government was running low on funding to pay civil servants and that it needed the legislature’s blessings in granting the 1/12.

Minister McGill’s request, which was carefully discussed by the lawmakers, bothered on government’s request of the 1/12, which in Article 34(d) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, mandates the Legislature the power to make appropriations for additional funding of said provision if there was a need.

Basing his arguments on said provision, Article 34,d), from the Constitution, Representative Clarence Massaquoi of Lofa County made a motion informing his colleagues of the future damage it would cause the country were the House not to grant the Executive’s request for additional funding.

“Honorable Speaker, Deputy Speaker, fellow Colleagues, as we are aware of Article 34(d) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, and taking into consideration the PFM Laws Section 17, where, the Legislature is authorized to spend 1/12 of the previous budget, and which the Minister of State is requesting, let us be cognizant that we don’t want a short down of the government,” he stated.

“Shorting down the government would mean, there will be no school, no healthcare, and the entire country will be affected; let us accept this request to save the state,” he averred.

When the request from the Ministry of State was placed on the floor, nearly the entire Plenary of the House of Representatives voted in agreement to grant the request, while some Lawmakers including Representative Ivar Jones of Margibi District #2 wanted a resolution taken to monitor the process.

For Rep. Dickson Sebo, an assurance should be given by the Executive on the passage of the current 2019-2020 fiscal budget.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Public Works, Joseph P. Todd, has appeared to the House of Representatives to grant his Boss, Minister Mobutu Nyenpan who is currently out of the Country along with the Liberian Leader.

In a communication addressed to the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mildred Sayon, Deputy Minister Todd said, Minister Mobuto Nyenpan had traveled with the Liberian Leader to Japan. Deputy Minister Todd further apologized, and promised that his boss, Minister Nyenpan who would have loved to honor their request, but said, he was incapacitated

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