By Leroy M. Sonpon III
A Financing Agreement Law to improve the country’s economy and social conditions was yesterday ratified by the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives.
The law also aims to help the government realize its objectives in the implementation of the Economic Stabilization Recovery Plan that was adopted after the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak and the mitigation of the fiscal gap for 2017/2018.
Both Houses – the Upper and Lower – approved the bill, entitled, “the Financing Agreement for the Third Poverty Reduction Support Development Policy Operation (PRSDPOIII).”
A few minutes to the ratification of the bill by the Legislature yesterday, the Financing Agreement was reached between Liberia and the International Development Association (IDA). Finance Minister Boima S. Kamara affixed his signature for the Government while country manager Larisa Leshehenko signed for the IDA. According to the agreement, the “grant and credit” is in the amount of 4,800,000 and 4,100,000 Special Drawing Rights respectively, totaling 8,900,000 Special Drawing Rights. The equivalent in US dollars is about US$12 million.
During Tuesday’s sessions, both Houses postponed their Rules and Procedures, which compelled the bill to be read for at least three times before ratification.
In the Senate, Grand Kru County Senator Albert Chie raised the motion for ratification, while the motion for reconsideration from Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay was tested but failed.
In the House of Representatives, Bong County District #2 Representative Prince Moye proffered the motion for reconsideration from Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous M. Gray. It was also tested but denied.
The maximum commitment rate payable will be one-half of one percent per annum; the payment currency is the US dollars, and payment dates are October 1 and April 1 each year.
The draft law, which originated from the Executive, was passed following a heated debate between lawmakers.
In a letter to House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay and Senate President Pro Tempore Armah Jallah, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote: “The Financing Agreement when ratified into law will enable the government to achieve these objectives and improve the economic condition that will help to alleviate poverty and make our citizens self- sufficient.”