Senator Kaipay Wants Accurate Account of Debt Portfolio

Wants Minister of Finance Cited

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Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay has written the plenary of the Liberian Senate requesting that body to cite the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to provide “pertinent information on the status of the country’s economy and development program” as the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf leaves office in January.

Senator Kaipay, in his letter dated May 16, is specifically requesting that the government through the Minister provides the Senate “with an accurate account of the country’s debt portfolio (grants and loans) since the ascendency of President Sirleaf, from 2006-2017.”

According to the letter, the information must also include all programs for which the funds were negotiated and received and how much was achieved with the expanded amounts.

Of equal importance, the Senator’s letter continued, “are the name of the institutions that awarded those grants and loans and the tenures thereof.”

The Grand Bassa County lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Committee on Autonomous Commissions and Agencies, maintained that the information will enable the Legislature and the incoming government to have a sense of how to “restructure our economy in order to minimize the country’s debt burden and focus more on sustainable growth and development.”

The letter was voted upon and sent to the Committee on Ways, Means & Finance and requested to report to plenary in two weeks.

In a related Senate development, Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morias has written the Senate informing it of reports that the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy has approved and transferred three major mining assets between companies which were the subjects of concession agreements without references to the Legislature which ratified those agreements.

According to Senator Morias, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the companies concerned include Mineral Development Agreement of AmLib United Minerals to MNG Gold Mining Company; Mineral Development Agreement of BHP Billiton to Cavalla Resources; and the takeover of the Aureus Mining Gold Mine, which was a subject of a Mineral Development Agreement by MNG Gold Mining Company.

“I suggest that plenary mandates the Senate Committees on Lands, Mines and Energy, Concessions and Judiciary to probe this matter, establish the veracity of the facts and recommend an appropriate action,” Senator Morias’ letter dated May 16, concluded.

The letter was sent to the Committees on Lands, Mines and Energy, Concessions, and Judiciary to report in two weeks.

8 COMMENTS

  1. “Accurate acount of debt portfolios”, including grants, loans, and expenditures ought to be easily collected, collated, and presented in not more than seven working days. But with no intention to take our Lord’s name in vain, many Liberians at home and abroad would swear to God that neither Senator Kaipay, nor the whole Senate will get any “accurate” financial accounting balance sheet from EJS’ s corrupt administration.

    For starters, you don’t get “accurate” book keeping information in a country where the president has proprietary control, if I may, over the Central Bank, Maritime Fund, NOCAL, etc. and mammoth payments are made, for example, to US firms, according to US FARA reports, in the hundreds of USD millions outside the purview of a gullible House of Representatives supposedly clothed with the constitutional authority over the nation’s purse string.

    And for essayists, and commenters, to dare hold Ellen’s regime accountable is to invite the fury of paid Internet goons whose sole mission is to bark loud enough with the hope of drowning out any worthwile debate on issues of existential imperative. Yet whether anybody likes it or not, we must confront our own satans, and change if the Republic should survive. We can’t depend on, “Oh, what the heck, President John Brown got away with it too”.

    • Saddling Liberia with debt that Liberians have nothing substantial to show for…Liberia as an ATM…Still pimping Liberia to the end of this administration….What a shame.

  2. Ok, so the Senator wants an “accurate account of the country’s debt portfolio” which he describes as loans and grants as the quotation of his letter to his colleagues suggests? Well, I’m not so sure about what this means since “grants” are not part of the country’s total public debt portfolio.

    However, contrary to the insinuations from the learned Sylvester Gbayanforh Moses which has prompted my reaction here, there are verifiable, reliable and regularly published reports on how the country manages its debt portfolio. A simple stroll to the MFDP’s website will acquaint an objective researcher with the data wherein the last published debt report was for Quarter 2 of FY 16/17. The other point I want to make is that we should encourage our Honorable Lawmakers to engage the Researchers in their various offices who are in fact being paid to help them gather these information which are very readily available (especially in the case of the Ministry of Finance).

    I think Hon. Kaipay is making some good attempts in the discharge of his oversight responsibilities, but I also think that lot of what he wants as contained in the communication could have been gotten very easily by a staff of his office right from the Ministry’s website.

  3. the Senator wants an “accurate account of the country’s debt portfolio” which he describes as loans and grants as the quotation of his letter to his colleagues suggests? Well, I’m not so sure about what this means since “grants” are not part of the country’s total public debt portfolio.

    However, contrary to the insinuations from the learned Sylvester Gbayanforh Moses which have prompted my reaction here, there are verifiable, reliable and regularly published reports on how the country manages its debt portfolio. A simple stroll to the MFDP’s website will acquaint an objective researcher with the data wherein the last published debt report was for Quarter 2 of FY 16/17. The other point I want to make is that we should encourage our Honorable Lawmakers to engage the Researchers in their various offices who are in fact being paid to help them gather these information which are very readily available (especially in the case of the Ministry of Finance).

    I think Hon. Kaipay is making some good attempts in the discharge of his oversight responsibilities, but I also think that lot of what he wants as contained in the communication could have been gotten very easily by a staff of his office right from the Ministry’s website.

  4. Mr. Emmanuel Herodotous, Payne, Jr., I’m neither an accountant, nor an egotist to be flattered by the depiction of being “learned”. Rather, I’ m just a national security professional who is intuitive about the subtle potential indicators of instability, and doesn’t want to see another civil conflict creeping on the suffering vast majority who inevitably bear its brunt. In other words, my comments are never actually motivated by partisan, or ethnic bias..

    So in reply to your rejoinder: firstly, Senator Kaipay should be able to demand the MoF, or relevant governmental institution to provide that information. And, secondly, I don’t understand what you mean by “insinuation”? What I do know, though, is that facts don’t fall under the category of insinuation. Furthermore, by your suggestion, the Legislature with oversight authority on all ministries shouldn’t seek information from the finance ministry, and that’s a dismaying contention.

    Perhaps, another – unknowingly – enabler of her government’s lack of transparency, and accountability will concur by proposing that Senator Kaipay ought to file a FOIA (freedom of information access) action, or worse sue the Finance Ministry in court to get the data he is requesting. The question is, Mr. Payne, will you maintain the same stance when EJS leaves office, and another president fails to exhibit reponsive responsible political leadership in our polarized, and anxious country?

  5. Dear Mr. Sylvester Moses, it was never my intention to flatter you by my usage of “learned” especially considering the fact that your professional security profile and genius are no secret here. However, it helps remind you of certain basic things that one would expect of a “learned” man like you. I had thought firstly that you would have checked the Ministry’s website to see whether they’ve been publishing on the debt portfolio (that even includes figures that predated President Sirleaf specific reference being the numbers from the restructuring at HIPC completion). Secondly, I further thought that after my reference to the Ministry’s site you would have utilized the opportunity as other learned men of your stature would do. However, I see your continuous dismissive tendency towards the Government and the young professionals who you brand as “paid Internet goons whose sole mission is to bark loud enough with the hope of drowning out any worthwhile debate on issues of existential imperative”. This is the very characterization that I earlier term as “contemptuous”.
    Senator Kaipay needs no FOIA to have access to a work that is already published in fulfillment of the Ministry’s statutory mandate! My suggestion is that the researcher(s)/technician(s) working in the various offices at the Legislature need to help their bosses in gathering these published details.

    Sir, in the exercise of oversight responsibilities, we got to be mindful that we do not make the Capitol the ‘dwelling place’ of Executive officials of government especially when what is requested is already available.

  6. Dear Mr. Emmanuel Herodotous Payne, Jr., like I said before, Senator Kaipay doesn’t have to find the information he needs from an official website. Not to mention that your argument may encourage, for instance, the police director to refer legislators to a LNP website when asked to furnish national crime statistics since he got the job. That’s not best practices, and I’m sure you know that. Thanks for your input, but I am not continuing this conversation – it isn’t getting anywhere.

  7. Liberia is a nation located in West Africa, with a population of 4, 615,000 million and it has an area of 111,370 Km2. It is one of the least populous countries in the world and it has a moderate population density, 41 people per km2.

    In terms of nominal GDP, Liberia holds the 169 position amongst 187 nations in the world. On national debt, as of 2016, Liberia’s debt stands at 946millions. In terms of debt –to-GDP ratio, it is 44.8% and its public debt per capita is 205$ dollars per inhabitant @countyeconomy.com/national/debt-Liberia. It means, a Liberian owes 205$ of the 946million debt Liberia owes. By the end of 2015, the debt of Liberia stood at 805million and debt to GDP ratio was 39.1% and its public debt per capita was 180$ dollar per inhabitant. A review and an analysis of2015 with 2016 show an increase of national debt by 141million with an increase in debt to GDP ratio of 5.7% and its public debt per capita increased by 25$ dollar per inhabitant.

    In terms of GDP percentage, Liberia has worsened when it comes to the rest of the world since 2016. Liberia sits at 83 on the list of debt to GDP and 14 of debt per capita, out of 185 nations. This statement shows that the lower a nation on the debt chart in terms of debt to GDP of a nation, that nation faces difficulty borrowing and the nation’s ability to pay its debt is even difficult –thus borrowing from lenders could be difficult or is highly unlikely. Moreover, the statement shows that the lower a nation on the debt per capita chart, that nation’s population is living under extreme poverty and its population is likely earning a dollar or below a dollar.

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