President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has finally sent to the House of Representatives the Budget Message, which includes the performance report on the 2013/2014 and formal submission of the Fiscal Year 2014/2015 National Budget.
The Budget Message was in fulfillment of the Representatives’ request amidst the submission of the 2014/2015 National Budget which marked her 9th National Budget of her Presidency.
In her letter to Speaker J. Alex Tyler, the President said the Budget calls for a period of national sacrifice – a sacrifice that calls for better efficiency in the allocation of available resources – as we combine aggressive revenue generation with careful debt management and scale up spending in security, energy and the road network.
The President’s Budget message to the Legislature was read on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, during the 33rd day sitting in the 3rd session of the Honorable House of Representatives of the 53rd Legislature.
A recurrent budget US$529 million was proposed, with a reduction of periodic expenditure, which she said, “It is not going to be easy or painless.”
The budget message said there would be decrease in excessive expenditure on goods and services by eliminating scratch cards and reducing spending on fuel and foreign travel.
“Fuel will be restricted to operational use only; and for all travel less than eight hours in duration, officials and ministers will be required to fly economy class,” the President said, “The number of foreign trips will be limited to three per year, with the exception of the President, Vice President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance; and there will be a limit of no more than five members on any travel.”
Meanwhile, the Liberian Chief Executive said the Government will honor its side of the counterpart funding agreements on national priority projects by allocating US$45.9 million across the energy, infrastructure, sanitation and health sectors, including the US$7.7 million for resettlement action plans for the Fish Town to Harper and Redlight to Ganta road.
Others include US$10 million for Government’s share of the financing for the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee hydroelectric dam, US$7.9 million for the resettlement action plans for the West Africa Power Pool Project, US$1.2 million for the construction of a new Heavy Fuel Oil Power Plant and the US$3 million for repair of the Robert International Airport runaway.
The President further said the Government will also invest an additional US$26 million for on-going road works and maintenance, and US$1.6 million for sector projects in WASH and land settlement for peace and reconciliation.
“In response to the Legislature’s request for more support to rural development , the Government will invest US$18.25 million primarily for the construction of security and social infrastructure, the President noted, “This will accelerate economic activities in the districts and alleviate difficulties in attracting skilled professionals for assignments away from Monrovia.”
In view of the UNMIL draw down, the President said in order to maintain peace and stability in the country, US$23 million has been allotted.
“We propose that funding focuses on establishment of the BIN training academy in Foya, extension of the Police Training Academy in Monrovia, continuation of the Camp Todee Military Academy’s rehabilitation, and training, logistics and deployment of 1,832 recruits into the various security institutions.”