Chambers: “Reform ‘Old Order Laws’ to Improve Economy”

Rep. Bhofal Chambers, Speaker of the 54th Legislature

Amid his concerns over whether revenue collection can support 2019-2020 National Budget

House Speaker Bhofal Chambers said he is worried over the continuance of revenue collection to support the country’s budget, indicating that there is a need for reform of some of the existing ‘Old Order Laws’ to improve the national economy.

Chambers spoke against the backdrop of the looming bad economy of the country, as evidenced by the slow-paced of payments to the more than 47,000 civil servants, as well as the extreme backlog of international and domestic debts (or commitments) otherwise known as national debt and other liabilities that the government owes.

Among the many ways to improve the economy and support the budget, Speaker Chambers said that the ‘Old Order Laws,’ which he ultimately termed as ‘bad laws’, must be amended or repealed in some of the sectors, including Mining, Fisheries and Forestry (logging), to improve the regulations to pave way for new and effective profit-sharing laws to support the budget annually and comparably to other countries.

Chambers, who represents Maryland County District #2 on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), says the 2019/2020 draft budget in the tune of US$532 million is inadequate to build modern infrastructures.

Given the Speaker’s remark, many Liberians are waiting to see whether the ‘bad laws’ he referenced will be reviewed and amended beginning the 54th Legislature’s third sitting, which begins in January 2020, seeing as the second sitting of the august body will end on August 30, 2019.

Sources said the ongoing revenue component of the 2019/2020 Budget in the tune of US$532 million, which started on Tuesday, July 30 and is expected to end Friday, August 9, is getting sticky on the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee to identify sources to avoid a shortfall.

According to the schedule, over 40 governmental revenue generating entities are expected to appear in closed-door hearings, but the revenue component might continue up to Wednesday, August 14, to reconcile the commitments from all the revenue generating entities before commencing the expenditure component of the 2019/2020 budget.

Speaker Chambers noted that 40% of the national budget of the Republic of Botswana is supported by mining, while the Republic of Liberia gets only 3% from mining, despite its abundance of natural resources in almost all the counties.

He said that Indonesia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Chile, Vietnam, and China benefit “very hugely” from the fishing sector, while Canada, and USA get large supports from the logging (forestry) sector, and that those supports are manifesting in their respective economies.

The Speaker made the remarks during a formal welcome program held in the Banquet Hall of the Legislature on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, upon his return from the U.S.

He recently attended the Inter Parliament Union (IPU) assembly in the U.S. for the first time to the U.S. since he became a lawmaker in 2006.

While in the U.S., Speaker Chambers participated in the IPU assembly, hosted at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as the bi-partisan forum of Democrat and Republican lawmakers to the United States Congress in Washington, headed by Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Speaker Chambers also attended a meeting of Liberians residing in Silver Spring, the State of Maryland.

Some of the discussions included the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Growing Inequality, the Critical Role of Law Reform, and Good Governance.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Patriotic Students Movement (MAPASM) in collaboration with Citizens Action Committee presented a gift to the Speaker for his “successful travel.”


  1. Thanks for at least mentioning Botswana, Speaker. Liberia has more natural resources than Botswana but we have given them for little or nothing to multi-national corporations for decades while our country remains dirt poor. Why not send someone to Botswana to find out what they did differently?

    • Gonleh, Botswana has diamonds, plenty of it! You should know the price of diamonds on the world market as compared to iron ores and rubbers, which have many substitutes. When our economy was booming, his county man was riding ships to go to Harper and other parts of the world and laying pavement in his rubber farm in Maryland, while Huffman station remained unpaved today. Thanks.

  2. Mr. Speaker, great ideas! Let’s develop and strategize how to duplicate this with people who are doing it or have it. That is,improving those industries!
    Our economy is FAILING, oh! Please have those expertise work through our Embassy a mechanism to duplicate those successes in those efficiently ,non-corrupted economies that achieve their objectives for the benefit of their citizens. Then let them establish some plan through the NIC ( national investment commission)PRIOR to coming to Liberia. There are a lot of roadblocks doing these things in Liberia resulting in discouraging foreign businesses. Please get Liberian expertise working for the embassy that will have the required skills to attract foreign investments and interface with the NIC on pertinent matters like safety and efficiently getting equipment through the port, tax incentives, availability to housing,storage, credit relationships. In the case of fisheries, identifying local expertise, storage facilities, required transportation facilities, etc. This is SERIOUS business, let the professionals handle it. How can Knowledge transfer to Liberians be included?Do we need to develop the expertise on a sustainable level through local University or technical school level. The efficiency and scalability of these businesses “just don’t happen “. They are expertly planned and masterfully executed. It takes work! It can be accomplished!!
    What incentives are you going to give to hundreds of thousands of “disenfranchised Liberians ” willing to come home from western Europe & America & elsewhere abroad to invest in their countries? Why can’t Embassies be initially implementators to capture the ideas and business plans of those “disenfranchised Liberians ” and help co-coordinated with the National Investment Commission so those coming can have a smooth path to success. The co-ordination process can include MOU ( memorandum of understanding) in regarding to banking, assuring foreign creditors of the viability of the business with certain assurances from the government. This will delay a lot of “back & forth” in being vulnerable to bribery and many “red tapes” that prevent small foreign business growth in Liberia from foreign entities with foreign sources of Capital. This would mean equipping Liberian embassies with employees with those skill sets to interface with those foreign businesses and the NIC ( national investment Commission). These “disenfranchised Liberians ” are a “missing component ” to Liberians economic growth. They were mostly born in Liberia. are sending remittances faithfully to help relatives, they are importantly skilled in vital professions to help the country and they have access to foreign capital from the various countries they hold citizenship in. Let’s open our arms and identify those willing to “do good” for Liberia but in an accommodatacc and predictable fashion to both the government, the individuals and the NIC to ensure a “smooth transition “.
    Presidential and legislative terms of office changes are “wonderful ” but PROGRESS for the people and economy is the preferred “end goal”! Hopefully, like Ghana and many other countries in Europe, south America, etc. we can establish requirements to make some of these “disenfranchised Liberians ” citizens. Those who demonstrate a desire to improve the wellbeing of Liberia.

  3. Laws help initially, but actually “co-ordination ” between the branches of the Government to ACTUALLY achieve something is A CRUCIAL and CREDIBLE aspect of success. Liberia must get beyond just TALKING, especially POLITICAL figures.

  4. How much sense does this government thinks it makes when it keeps complaining about a bad economy yet it continues along a path of extravagance. Broke country, but president flies private jet at the country’s expense. Two-day trip to Guinea costing nearly $200,000.00. A pointless Independence celebration exceeding a million dollars. Chambers represents all that is disgusting about a useless public servant and therefore lacks the ability to make sense.

  5. Liberia will not develop when the people are divisive. People not giving jobs because they are from the CDC party, the government is not willing to give dual citizenship to liberians.

  6. Thanks you so much speaker chambers for such brilliant ideals.4.6 billion was taken away by the passed administration of UP-led government, but in the mix of economy the CDC led government is making gained. Thank you well noted.

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