“The Senate will treat as a paramount national priority the passage of the Land Rights Act, Local Government Act, proposed Amendment to the Constitution and Civil Service Reform Act, and we hope to do that within the next few weeks, ” an authoritative source close to the leadership of the Senate has hinted to the Daily Observer.
The 54th Senate, whose membership is a continuation of the 53rd, is bringing forward these important Acts, some of which have already gone through public hearings and/or just need reports from committees to plenary for debates and eventual actions.
Some of these Acts, like the Land Rights, have already exchanged hands through conference committees involving the House of Representatives and the Senate. Though some have been placed on the Senate agenda, actions were deferred to other sittings or motions proffered, to allow Senators sufficient time to hold consultations with their respective constituencies.
In fact, as late as early February during his debut press briefing, Pro-tempore Albert Chie disclosed that the Senate was planning to hold its first retreat during the last week in March of this year. At that time, he said, most of these crucial Acts would have been passed.
But a source from the Senate leadership told this newspaper that the retreat for passage of those Acts could not materialize due to the hectic work that is being done by the various committees, conducting confirmation hearings on nominees sent to that body.
“Upon our return from the Easter break, we will finally decide on the time for the retreat, which has already been welcomed by plenary, ” our source said.
It can be recalled that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on January 8 of this year wrote to members of the Legislature and submitted 19 Bills for ratification.
Among the 19 bills are the much talked-about Investment Incentives Agreement between Liberia and Dangote Cement Liberia Ltd; Land Rights Bill; A Bill to ratify the Investment Incentive Agreement between Liberia and the TIDFORE Investment Company and Liberia Steel and Cement Mining (LICEMCO); and an Act Repealing the Public Employment Law and Amending the Executive Law to Create a Civil Service Commission.
As one of her last acts in office, former President Sirleaf forwarded communication seeking the Legislature to take action to ratify a Bill on the Concession Agreement between Liberia and Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI); and Amendment to the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement between Liberia and Firestone-Liberia Incorporated; Amendments to the Constitution of Liberia /Cavalla Rubber Corporation (CRC) Propositions. They are still pending but are now being reviewed by the Senate.
The Revised and Restated Charter of the University of Liberia, the Concession Agreement between the Government of Liberia, and the Liberia Traffic Management Incorporated; and a line of credit Agreement for Financing Private Sector Project between the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment.