Senate Concurs With Reps on $347.9m National Budget -As both houses to meet to finalize it

The Liberian Senate on Thursday, August 12, 2021, rose from its session after concurring with the lower house to pass the Special National Budget amounting to $347,908,000, which is $500,000 more than what was earlier proposed by the House of Representatives. Both houses will now meet in joint conference meeting to harmonize and reconcile the figures before sending it to the President for signing it into law.

As usual, salaries to government workers took the giant share of $150 million, while goods and services took $26,636,000. The budget saw the the legislature also setting aside US$1 million for the repair of the Capitol building; another US$250,000 for its water system, while lightening the place will take US$100,000 and US$80,000 for the legislative modernization project.

According to our capital building sources, road construction which is the signature project of the government will take US$4million and the National Road Fund was allotted US$2 million. The National Elections Commission (NEC) takes US$1.5 million apparently for the holding of the representative by-elections to be held in Grand Gedeh, Bomi, Nimba and Bong Counties. The budget pumps $2.5million into the COVID project to purchase vaccines in line with the special request made by President George Manneh Weah during the upsurge of the new wave of variants in the country. Also in the health sector, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital got a paltry $100,000

The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment(LACE) will collect $800,000 for the Omega Market project, US$1 million will go to the Armed Forces of Liberia towards its recruitment exercise, security hubs under the Ministry of Justice $500,000 and Police US$200,000.The John F. Kennedy (JFK) referral hospital is being allotted US$100,000; the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) recruitment takes US$1 million; security hubs under the Ministry of Justice takes US$500,000, and Police, US$200,000.

Further details from the budget shows that the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) got US$1.5 million and the Ministry of Education will take US$750,000. The Security sector took $2.5 million in its wallet, while the TVET program under the Ministry of Education got US$150,000 and mental health, $30,000.

The government will be spending US$1 million to retire domestic debts and will putting $725,000 towards the national team qualifying for the Qatar 2022 world cup, the Ministry of Youth and Sports takes home $519,000 and the government will put in $2 million to pay for WASSCE just as the Sexual and Gender-based road map will receive US$200.

Additional information from the document shows that both the Monrovia City Corporation and the Paynesville City Corporation will receive US$250,000 and US$275,000 respectively for their respective cleaning exercises. The contingency will be US$500,000. Sexual and Gender-based road map will receive US$200,000; domestic debt – US$ 1million; World Cup qualifier US$725,000; Ministry of Youth and Sports US$519,000, and WASSCE US$2 million

It can be recalled that the Executive Branch through the President submitted a budget of US$301.549 to the House of Representatives and the body in turn upped the figure to $342,186,000 which was further pushed up to US$347,908 by the Senate pending the holding of the joint conference meeting to finalize the document.

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