Security Budgets ‘Considerably Slashed’

4
2011

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veterans Affairs, Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo, has disclosed that the budgets of several first line national security institutions have been considerably slashed. Though he did not disclose the proposed budget amount or what it may have been ‘slashed’ down to, the Senate defense chairman has therefore “craved the indulgence of the leadership of the Legislature to reconsider the budgets of these front line institutions.”

In his letter dated June 26 Sen. Zargo said his request is in consideration of the pivotal role these institutions have to play before, during and after the elections, especially the Liberia National Police and Immigration Services.

“This, I believe will enhance their performance, especially during these critical electioneering period, even if this means slashing from other areas for now to have these institutions prepared for the challenges associated with elections security.”

The October 2017 elections, Senator Zargo reminded his colleagues, is a period of heightened security alertness, which takes security experts to the point of making an analysis of Liberia’s security threat, which can be said to be basically internal.

This, he said, is derived from the daily economic hardship exacerbated by unemployment, especially among restive youths.

“A greater percentage of our population lives in abject poverty, while on the other hand former members of the disbanded Armed Forces of Liberia have threatened to ensure that a peaceful transition of government does not become a reality if what they perceived as severance benefits are not paid,” he said.

Senator Zargo, a one-time policeman, however warned of a looming security threat “If we do not intend to paint a gloomy picture of our national security setting.”

What is expected to avert what the Senate’s security chairman described as “this clear and present danger” is for appropriate steps to be taken to ensure that, even though the targeted manpower strength of the first line national security institutions has not been reached, “we can adequately provide the much needed logistics to the available few,” which would “significantly enhance” their performance, he said.

It is in view of the foregoing that Senator Zargo said he is calling on the leadership of both Houses to ensure that the requisite funding is made available to the security institutions to enable them to function at an enhanced level in delivering services required by the Liberian people during the period leading to, during and after the elections.

The letter was sent to the Committee on Ways, Means, Finance & Budget, which is currently working jointly with the House of Representatives for final appropriations of the 2017/2018 National Budget.

Meanwhile, 22 Senators attended yesterday’s 44th day sitting, while Senators George Weah, Daniel Naatehn, Dallas Gueh and Sando Dazoe Johnson were notably absent.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It defies reason that legislators are slashing, instead of augmenting, Security Sector, especially LNP’s 2017/ 2018 budget at a time of uncertainty amid multi – faceted challenges driven by the general and presidential elections.

    Perhaps, the powers that be forget that their collective failure to demonstrate responsive ethical responsible leadership quadrupled public safety and home land security anxieties because ironically the security sector is now the buffer between them and a disappointed populace which elected them to their positions. No wonder bad governance has always been the stress test of national security readiness in our region.

    Simply put, if one is going on a trip with no specific date of return, it is advisable to not act cheap with how much funds the trip may cost: so too are the security preparations of potentially contentious elections. Nobody knows when the hurly burly would end.

    • Strange that the government would be slashing the security budget of Liberia while at the same time requesting the Security Council to continue to provide security for the country. Can you please tell me why we have ALWAYS want others to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves?

  2. Liberia must not depend on other countries for her own security. This is the time when all countries including United States increased its budget for security and military. Let the people speak out and do not leave Liberia with politicians.

  3. Joe Toe, you know how cynical African career politicians are. Perhaps, having neglected the needs of their constituents for eleven years, with elections coming they decided to cut national priorities such as security to provide token items for the people.

    Should the above assumption on the money, not only that eleventh hour scrambling wouldn’t compensate for almost a dozen years of nonchalance, the scheme would put the nation at risk.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here