The President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate has announced that the Senate will soon begin to appoint the new Senators to various committees, especially in the important areas relating to the economy.
Pro Tempore Albert T. Chie, told journalists at his first monthly planned press briefing that the Senate committees on Banking and Currency; Ways, Means, Finance and the Budget, and Committee on Public Account and Audits remain open as they take their time to appoint the right person to the job.
“Because of the situation with the economy, we are very pleased that we have good Senators with strong financial backgrounds; who will be appointed to these committees to help with the revival of the Liberian economy,” Pro Tempore Chie said.
The Senate Pro Tempore also encouraged the National Elections Commission to expedite the remaining cases involving ten Senators to help complete the Senate number to 30.
Though voted in by their respective counties, Pro Tempore Chie reminded the newly inducted Senators that they have now become Senators of the Republic of Liberia, with the national agenda in mind.
Slightly resembling what he told Senator Abraham Darius Dillon during his by-election induction in 2019 Protemp Chie reminded River Gee County Senator Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbie, that the Senate is a political house.
He disclosed that fourteen (14) months ago the Senate set up a select committee to look at the economy, headed by Senator H. Varney Sherman and did a 15-page document on the state of the economy and the way to revive it, a document which was sent to the Executive Branch.
“One of the many issues flagged in that document was the liquidity problems at the banks, and in the markets,” he said. “The foremost proposal that came forward was the establishment of a non-partisan economics recovery team of experts composed of Liberians and expatriates to study the entire scope of the Liberian economy, with emphasis on the fiscal and monetary measures/ spheres, and will send those proposals to the Executive.”
Senator Chie further reminded his colleagues that their purpose at the Capitol is to see to it that the lives of the people are improved; and the way to do that is not through mere politics rather through programs to improve their lives.
“So it is incumbent upon all of us that we work with the Executive Branch of government through constructive engagements to sure that our people see the benefit of the government,” the Protemp said.
The Grand Kru County lawmaker also stressed that the Senate works through committees, “and the committees have immense powers and responsibility through oversight.
“I will urge all of us including our new colleagues who have joined us to exercise that oversight so that our oversight can be stronger in this 4th Session more than before. We should make use of committee rooms, not only plenary. Matters that cannot be resolved in committee rooms should come to plenary. I am happy that Senators have joined us with more vigour; we have to work collectively to achieve what we ought to achieve,” Protemp Chie warned Senators.
Meanwhile, Protemp has promised to look into the possibility of creating a website for the Senate through the Legislative modernization program of that body, saying discussions with the chairperson of that committee Senator Conmany Wesseh is ongoing, and that solution is been find.
When actualized, he said the Capitol Building and its neighboring institutions, including the University of Liberia, would benefit from internet connectivity. In addition, he assured the reintroduction of electronic voting system, which briefly existed in the Senate Chambers during the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures, would be one of the Senate’s major objectives.
On the question of reconditioning the main chambers of the Tubman- era constructed Capitol Building, Protemp disclosed that discussions are going on trying to allocate some money in the amount of one million United States Dollars. But he regretted that it was not possible to realize that in the last budget, but expressed hope that priority will be given in any future recast budget.