US$256.7M Grant Passed Through Capitol Hill

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The House of Representatives has concurred with the Senate to ratify the agreement on the US$256.7 million grant agreement, which aimed to provide more reliable and affordable electricity and improve routine and periodic road maintenance.

Members of the House of Representatives unanimously made the crucial decision yesterday to mark the ‘successful’ passing of the US$256.7 million Grant, which now awaits the approval of President Ellen Johnson to be printed into handball as a law.

The House’s action was prompted by a communication from the Senate – forwarding for concurrence Senate’s engrossed Bills No: 9, 10 and 11.

The bills included an “Act to ratify the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) between the Republic of Liberia acting through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, and the United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation;”

“Act to ratify the Program Implementation Agreement between Liberia acting through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation;” and “An Act to establish the Millennium Challenge Account Liberia.”

Grand Kru County Representative Numennie Bartekwai, who made the motion, said the grant agreement and the bills needed passage by the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning have had a thorough public hearing.

The hearing brought to the fore Samuel D. Tweah, Senior Economist – MCC Compact team; Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo; Public Works Minister Gyude Moore, and the Acting Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr. James Kollie, amongst others.

All of the panelists recommended that the bill, if passed, would be an advantage to Liberians and the country.

They also said MCC Account will manage the administrative, technical and financial operations of the agreement between the two countries.

The concurrence of the “acts” is in line with Article 29 of the Constitution, which states: “The legislative power of the Republic shall be vested in the Legislature of Liberia which shall consist of two separate houses: A Senate and a House of Representatives, both of which must pass on all legislation. The enacting style shall be: “It is enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of Liberia in Legislature assembled.”

Liberia qualified for the Compact after it improved performance on its score card in 2015.

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