As the House of Representatives dominated by lawmakers of the ruling CDC has passed President George Weah’s US$10.5 million Supplementary Budget presented a few weeks ago and awaiting approval by the Senate, there is a likelihood that it may encounter hitches as Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has begun scrutinizing it and point out some gaps that remain visible and confusing.
On his Facebook page where he often posts his views on legislative matters for the public, Senator Dillon recalled: “There are budget lines containing bulk figures for purchase of street lights, beds for public hospitals, arm-chairs for public schools etc. These programs fall under the Public Sector Investment (PSI) segment of the budget, and we welcome the same.”
In his critical view as it relates to his oversight, Senator Dillon wrote further, “Consistent with our oversight function, and in the interest of transparency and accountability, we have requested from the Executive a detailed breakdown and listing of the number of arm-chairs, public street lights and hospital beds to be purchased before we can give our approval.”
In his post, the Montserrado County lawmaker, who won popular votes and was overwhelmingly elected in the December 8, 2020 senatorial election, stressed that President George Weah’s information about the use of the money in question should state the targeted public schools and hospitals across the counties that should be expected to benefit, and the counties that their streets will benefit from the street lights.
“The people must know that these services are provided from their TAXES and other national resources and not our personal donations,” Senator Dillon said. “The people must know the function and role of the Legislature and legislators is to ensure budgetary appropriations, pass the budget for the Executive to implement.”
In his comment, he said in a firm tone: “It is not the personal donation of any public official when the government provides these services to our people.”
When he submitted the supplementary budget, President Weah outlined the pavement of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Highway; the production of chairs for public schools; the purchase and installation of transformers; extension of the street light project; and the purchase of hospital beds as areas where the budget will affect.
However, the President’s budget proposal fell short of clarity on the specific areas that will benefit from purchases of beds and chairs.