Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence of Grand Bassa County, on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 took her resolve to return the second tranche of the $30,000 allotted to each lawmaker for legislative engagement when she wrote the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ways, Means and Finance, Senator Morris Saytumah of Bomi County to effect the return of the money to the consolidated account of the Government of Liberia. “My office has been informed of the second and final disbursement of Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars ($15,000) out of Thirty Thousand United States Dollars (USD30, 000) allotted to each lawmaker in the national budget for FY2020/2 for legislative engagements. When I first read about this latest disbursement of the Legislative engagement fund through a social media post from the office of my distinguished colleague, Hon. Emmanuel Nuquay, I issued a statement encouraging all of us (legislators) to have the executive take hold of the money and direct it towards the ongoing fight against COVID-19, Senator Lawrence said in the letter.
She furthered: “Still holding firm to my belief that the most compelling national obligation on our hands as a people is the fight against COVID- 19, I herewith request that my allotment of this latest disbursement of Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars be remitted to the Government of Liberia consolidated account, to be used in the fight against coronvirus”.
The decision of Senator Lawrence to return the money will be the first major step ever taken by any lawmaker who had expressed the displeasure of receiving the money at this critical time of the health challenge in the country and willing to return the same to the national treasury since the news of the second tranche became public.
She was supported then by her counterpart, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County but there has not been any news of Dillon taking a similar route to write to the appropriate authorities of government to refund the money.
While some are contemplating on returning the money, others are putting up strong defense for the disbursement to the extent of even saying the said amount was not enough to undertake the projects they have earmarked in their constituencies.
Meanwhile reports making the rounds at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, official working place of the lawmakers said most of them have since exhausted their own share of the money on initiatives they have embarked upon within their areas. This is seen as a major blow to those who intend to return the money as they find themselves in a very small number such that returning the money will be negligible compared to those who have received and vowed to use the same on projects and other initiatives.