Former Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Ngafuan has advised government officials who appropriate the National Budget not to slash any portion of the University of Liberia’s (UL) budget. “If you cannot add onto the UL budget, don’t take from the UL budget. If you cannot give the UL blood, don’t take blood away from the UL,” he admonished.
Speaking further on the acute financial difficulties presently facing the UL, Mr. Ngafuan recalled that the University’s budget experienced a major cut before 2012. Since then, the UL budget has not exceeded what it used to be before 2011. He didn’t say what it used to be before 2011. It must be noted, however, that before Mr. Ngafuan was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, he served as Minister of Finance from 2008 to early 2012.
Mr. Ngafuan, who was also the Dean of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet, was among individuals and institutions honored and certificated by the UL Student Union (ULSU) for contributing to projects of the Union and to the wellbeing of the University of Liberia in general.
Others honored included Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County, CBL Governor Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, Montserrado County Representative Acarous Gray, CBL Director of Finance, Mr. Dorbor Hagba, and a host of other individuals and entities including the Lone Star Cell Company.
The ceremony was held Friday, February 12, in the auditorium of the University of Liberia.
Ngafuan cautioned that as government takes measures to deal with the economic crisis, it does not need to apply what he termed as a “broad-brush approach” that would mean further reduction in the UL budget.
“Given that the UL is facing financial difficulty even in procuring such essentials as laboratory equipment and basic instructional supplies, I urge the government, especially the “appropriators” not to cut the UL Budget.”
Mr. Ngafuan commended the students for hosting an appreciation program, observing that appreciation is not a commonplace phenomenon nowadays in the Liberian society.