MONROVIA : The Liberia People’s Party(LPP) has taken up issues with the Government of Liberia to provide information on what has become a number of loans secured from the United States Government and the World Bank between 2022 and 2023, and wondered if the government plans to “steal the cash that the creditors disbursed to Liberia for government to pay for goods and services in 2023.
In a press statement issued by the party and signed by its National Chairman, J. Yanqui Zaza, LPP maintained that the government did not include the borrowed money in the 2023 budget on the budgetary line called “deficit financing” the line accounts for the amounts that will cover shortfalls in revenue projections versus expenditure projections.
Detailing the loans which is totaled at USD240m, LPP said on February 14, 2022, the government and the United States government signed a USD55m loan, a USD40m facility from the World Bank on April 4, 2022 and another one on December 5, 2022 for USD30m. LPP also said two other loan facilities were disbursed to the government of Liberia from the World on January 26, 2023 and June 23, 2023 for USD50m and USD65m respectively.
LPP also highlighted issues that trigger chaos and killing of innocent citizens attributing them to economic woes and electoral fraud, adding that the party had raised the alarm and was quoted in two local newspapers.
“On June 22, 2023, two important, but different stories, reported by Liberian local newspapers, should be considered by Liberians. In addition, they should consider the story about the photo of a man reported as killed due to the pending 6/24/2023 elections in Sierra Leone, according to a local newspaper in Sierra Leone.
“In the first story, the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) 2023 standard bearer, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe informed the public that LPP was calling on Liberians as well as Liberia’s international partners to undertake measures in order to prevent and/or reduce electoral frauds in the 10/10/2023 elections.
“Consultants and IT specialists assigned to Liberia’s Election Data Center beginning July 15, 2023, through October 10, 2023, might help to reduce fraud, LPP standard bearer added. The hired specialists and consultants will serve as counterparts to Officials of the Liberia Elections Commission, thereby, reducing human errors and frauds.
“The second story reported on June 22, 2023, indicates that the World Bank and Liberia have signed a $65M loan agreement aimed at “(i)…(ii) promoting transparency and accountability in the public sector.” Certainly, transparency and accountability will reduce corruption, Liberia’s “enemy number one,” according to our former President, Her Excellency, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf”, LPP said.
The party also spoke on apparent violation of the Public Financial Management Law of 2009, adding “By the way, are our government officials insinuating that Liberia’s 2009 “Public Financial Management Law” does not address why and how to include projected cash based on amounts borrowed or to be borrowed? If yes, how come prior budgets included borrowed amounts, even though the amounts were questionable?”
“If there are rules and regulations of the 2009 PFM instructing analysts to include projected cash to be received from creditors, why didn’t they include within the budget the projected cash?
“If our lawmakers can’t, Liberians should begin to call on our government and other opposition political parties to encourage our government to enforce the measures stipulated by the Liberia 2009 PFM Law”, the party said, adding that all these are happening because corruption is Liberia’s enemy number one.