President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has signed the 2014/2015 fiscal budget into law, but vetoed a line item which calls for signature bonus in the amount of US$25 million on account of oil blocks.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian President said in good conscience she had decided to exercise the right and mandate granted under Article 35 of the Constitution to veto this line item under the Additional Revenue Section 3 b (f) of the budget.
“This decision, taken because the process in the sale of oil blocks has not been concluded, will resultantly affect the several appropriations contained in the schedule presented to the Minister,” President Sirleaf argued.
She thanked the Honorable Legislators for the time and effort that they had put into debating and passing the budget and emphasized that it had been a long and difficult process, given the decline in revenues and the attention that was required to address the Ebola epidemic.
President Sirleaf particularly thanked the joint Ways and Means Committees of both the House and Senate for working collaboratively with the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and his team to finalize the process.
She reminded the lawmakers that Liberians and institutions have been patient in waiting for the budget to be able to recommence operations that were stalled due to the fight against the Ebola virus disease; adding, “We now have the means to move forward with the fullest commitment and dedication to meet our targets under the Agenda for Transformation.”
The 53rd National Legislature recently passed the budget, increasing its re-adjusted revenue envelop from over US$473 million to US$660 million.