House Shelves AFREXIM Bank, Maritime Bills in Committee Rooms

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Speaker Atty. J. Emmanuel Nuquay

-Extraordinary Session Begins and ends Friday

The House’s Plenary, in a unanimous vote, has effectively shelved two of the prioritized bills submitted by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, by deferring them to Joint Committee Rooms.

The decisions were made on Tuesday, January 9, during the 1st day sitting of the Extraordinary Session of the 6th Session of the House of Representatives of the 53rd Legislature.

With the quorum of more than 36 Representatives, and presided over by outgoing Speaker Atty. J. Emmanuel Nuquay, the Act Ratifying the Agreement for the Establishment of the African export Import Bank (AFREMIXBANK), was sent to the Joint Committee on Banking & Currency and the Ways, Means and Finance Committee. The Committee is expected to report the next session, which would be likely be today (Wednesday) or Thursday.

The motion was proffered by Montserrado County District # 2 Representative Sekou Kanneh.

Also, the second bill, entitled; “An Act to Amend Title 21 of the Liberian Code of Law Revised, amending certain sections of the Liberia Maritime Law,” was referred to a Joint Committee Joint Committee on Maritime and Judiciary. The motion was stated by Grand Bassa County District # 3 Representative Gabriel B. Smith.

The carried motion said the Committee will report in one week, meaning — the Maritime law has been postponed to the 54th Legislature.

The 53rd Legislature ends on Monday, January 15, while the 54th Legislature begins, with the seating of 66 Representatives and 30 Senators. Seven Representatives were not certificated by the National Elections Commission (NEC) due to unsettled electoral disputes.

According to the communication of the President, dated December 11, 2017, the Maritime Act seeks to amend sections 14, 21, 65, 66, 75, 85, 93, 100(a) 101, 105, 107, 110, 112(a), 116(a), 356 and 361 that affect lease financing of vessels mortgages and all others appertaining thereto.

“The purpose of this amendment is to modernize the Maritime law in accordance with present reality, correct issues, and bridge the gaps that are currently existing in the law,” President Sirleaf said.

She added: “Mr. Speaker, this amendment to the law when passed, will enable Liberia effectively carry out its maritime program, maintain a compatible and comparable maritime system that is in conformity with international standards and will endorse best practices as is required globally.”

“The objective of this amendment is to support Government’s effort in upgrading Liberia’s maritime law relating to recording vessels, documenting eligible vessels, certificating and naming vessels and all other maritime related activities contained in the amendments.”

Meanwhile, in a communication to Speaker Nuquay, which include the prioritized bills, the President wrote: “I wish to thank your Honorable Body for a brief return to duty in keeping with my request in accordance with Article 32(d) of the Constitution.”

“As you know the main reason for the recall is to obtain legislative actions on some important draft bills of vital importance to the economy and revenue generation that have been pending within your domain.”

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