Liberia: VP Taylor Calls for Critical Review of National Budget

 VP Howard-Taylor.

Vice President Jewel Howard - Taylor has called on the Liberian Senate to look critically at the country's 2022  budget before concurrence. 

The VP remark comes as the House of Representatives during the Special Session in December 2021 passed a budget of US$ 786.5 million and submitted the same to the Senate for concurrence.

"Keep in mind that the 2022  draft National Budget is the last pre-electoral budget, which should take into consideration its direct effect on youth unemployment, accelerated digital platforms for the country’s educational systems, as well as increasing agricultural access, supporting financing and provision of Agro-processing facilities to farmers,"  the VP said. 

As part of the critically look, VP Howard -Taylor called "for the inclusion on the  GoL’s payroll of all-volunteer teachers, local government personnel, and Health Care Workers,  at the same time providing support for the improvement and revitalization of other key sectors such as Tourism and Economic empowerment to strengthen vulnerable groups."

"Senators [need] to critically consider the need to fully fund the National Elections Commission to help its electoral activities promptly," she said.

The Liberian Vice President also called on members of the Senate to take into consideration the provision of financial support to county capitals and county Education Systems as well as financing the supplies of drugs and equipment for hospitals.

VP Howard -Taylor also called on the Senate to provide funding for a long-delayed census process,  provision of adequate funding for the improvement and operations of the security sector, funding for improvement in the judiciary, and also funding for the completion of the long awaiting coastal corridor which linked the South East, as well as adequate funds for the proper pension of Civil Servants who should not be put on a waiting list for their just benefits. 

Additionally, she admonished Senators to consider the clearing of a backlog of bills in Committee Rooms, something she said has stalled the work of the Liberian Senate.

 The Liberian Vice President emphasized the need for Legislative considerations of the National 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 among others. 

"Senators need to consider designing a new policy framework, where students who might fail in WAEC/WASSCE can still have the opportunity to enter College or University provided that the student can pass a required test for entry to College or University," the VP added.

Meanwhile, the President of the Senate called on each senator to perform their responsibility by dedicating time and effort to resolving these and many other National issues which will enable better Governance of our Democratic Space.

The President of the Liberian Senate, made the statement on January 10,  in the Chambers of the Liberian Senate at the program for the official commencement of the 5th Regular Session of the Liberian Senate.