VP Taylor Wants ‘Deeper Look’ At Proposed Budget -Reminds Senators 2022 Is Last Year to Elections

Yesterday, January 10, 2022, marked the resumption of legislative activities following a rather short break for lawmakers constituting the National Legislature—the House of Senate and House of Representatives. It was formal opening of the fifth sitting of the 54th Legislature, technically the last one before many elected public officials face the populace to renew their political mandates by means of elections. It is understandable therefore that speeches at such strategic occasion on how to conduct the business of the Liberian people would be instructive and warning. And the Vice President of the country, who is naturally given to superb articulacy, made used of the opening ceremonies of this crucial legislative year. The Analyst reports.

The Second in Command in the Executive Branch of Government, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, is urging members of the Liberian Senate to critically appraise and vet the 2022 proposed National Budget.

The House of Representatives has since played its part by submitting the budget to the Senate, before the legislative break.

In a keynote statement to the Liberian Senate at the fifth sitting of the 54th Legislature on Monday, January 10, 2022, Vice President Taylor said: “I implore your good offices to take a deeper look at the budget proposal sent for your concurrence.”

She urged Senators to keep in mind that the proposed budget is Government’s last pre-electoral budget, which should take into consideration its direct effect on youth unemployment, accelerated digital platforms for our educational systems, increasing agricultural access, support, financing, and provision of Agro-processing facilities to farmers; provision of financial support to all County Capital Cities and County Educational Systems; financing for supplies, drugs, and equipment for all County Hospitals with necessary diagnostic equipment; ensuring the inclusion on the payroll of all-volunteer Teachers, local Government personnel, and Health Care Workers; providing support for the improvement and revitalization of other key sectors such as Tourism and Economic empowerment to strengthen vulnerable groups.

Vice President Taylor noted that there is a critical need to fully fund the National Elections Commission so it is able to perform all its electoral activities in a timely manner; provide funds for a long-delayed census process; provide adequate funding for Security Sector improvement and operations; provide funding for improvement in the Judiciary; funding for the completion of the long awaiting coastal corridor to the South East and adequate funds for the proper pension of Civil Servants who have served and should not be put on a waiting list for their just benefits.

“It is my prayer, that the relevant committees will make the necessary adjustments in consideration of the progress made by our Government, with the expansion of our national envelope by considering programs that directly impact the growth and development of our people,” Dr. Taylor further implored senators.

She also reminded the senators about some pending delayed Legislations still with Committees.

She said during the past year in review, there was a serious backlog of bills in Committee Rooms; which stalled the work of the Liberian Senate; some of which are the Nation Youth Policy Act, the Amendments to the Drug Law, the enactment of the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanism; the enactment of the law establishing the National Food Assistance Agency; and critical draft amendments to the National Elections Commission Regulations amongst other key Legislations;

VP Taylor said the need to begin a new conversation around a new proposal for Constitutional Amendments, which she described as a compelling necessity, considering the need for a new democratic paradigm for Liberia.

She said if the amendments are completed and passed into law, it would be a true Legacy for the Nation, credited to the Members of the 54th Legislature.

She added: “As custodians of the people’s power, our focus must always be about them, with our eyes set on making history by continuously working to make Liberia a better place for future generations.”

Dr. Taylor also indicated that there is also a critical need for this Senate to look at ways of enabling our governance systems to ensure desired results.

“A case in point is the issue of whether or not the results of the WAEC/WASSCE exams can prevent a student who has completed and passed their requirements for the 12th grade from being processed,” she said. “Since in fact, a failure in WAEC/WASSCE does not allow said individual to repeat the 12th grade.”

According to her, the current wave of penalties to Institutions that have held closing programs for those students who have completed their requirements for the 12th grade is a dilemma, for both the Student and Institutions of learning. There is a need to provide an urgent discourse for a solution to this dilemma, she says

Checks and Balances

The Vice President reminder senators that the Senate is the House of Elders—something that imposes both a constitutional and moral responsibility upon them to ensure the proper functioning of the checks and balances within our governance system; and to ensure the full actualization of all activities executed by the Executive and Judiciary Branches of Government; so that our work positively affects the livelihood and well-being of our people, especially those marginalized and disadvantaged.

She cautioned the Senate: “Let us then begin the race that is set before the US, bearing in mind that our Nation and People demand our ultimate sacrifice and commitment to making Liberia BETTER. As we each endeavor to ensure that our personal and or political persuasions, no matter how intrinsic, should never be placed above Duty and our love for Mama Liberia.

Madam Taylor acknowledged the “enormous contributions our Nation has made over the years; through the efforts of Our Government led by His Excellency President George M. Weah, our international partners and friends of Liberia, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious institutions, the youth, the media, the people of Liberia and all other stakeholders who continue to work to protect our fledgling democracy and contribute to our Nation’s growth and development.”

“As we struggle to build a better Liberia, may we never forget that the most important ingredient for Nation-building is PEACE,” the Liberian Deputy President asserted, adding: “We are all aware that is an expensive commodity, whose fruits, though SWEET – should not be taken for granted. It is therefore prayerfully my request to the Almighty God; that in his mercy he will continue to show us the path of true reconciliation and unity; in the interest of the people of Liberia; whom we have been asked to represent.”

Comments are closed.