Defeated Grand Bassa County electoral district#3 representative Gabriel B. Smith, says the 54th Liberian Legislature has a cardinal role to play in allaying citizens’ fear about the economy by citing relevant financial institutions to know how much is left in the country’s coffers.
He says the Legislature must cite the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning MFDP to clearly tell the country how much they have in terms of monies left in the national coffers by the former administration.
Mr. Smith, who is a member of the opposition Liberty Party maintains that the LRA should tell the public how much revenue it has collected over the period since the departure of the UP-led government, while the Central Bank should explain how much is being sent out in terms of remittance, and the Ministry of Finance must adequately inform the public how much money the administration of President George Weah is starting with to avoid criticism from the citizenry.
The former lawmaker made the call on Wednesday, 20th February when he appeared on Truth FM 96.1 in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. “We know that this government just came to power, but the reason for this call is to avoid misjudgment of this government by the citizens”, he explains.
He notes that when the legislature cites these institutions, it would help to ally public anxiety and citizens will get to know how much the new government is beginning with in fiscal terms, and to also credit the past government for what they left behind for the country and its people.
He emphasizes the call is not meant to criticize the current administration, but to straighten the country and put it on the right trajectory in terms of good governance.
“No one should think that we are in criticizing, because it is too early to criticize this new government, but our thought is to set the platform, where citizens will make their own judgment in terms of critiquing the present government and the past government”, the once tough-talking lawmaker adds.
During his tenure in the House under the former 53rd Legislature, he blamed the Liberian government for failure to provide basic social services, including safe-drinking water and good sanitation.
Mr. Smith made the criticism in Grand Bassa County at a water and sanitation hygiene interactive program, citing government’s inability to at least provide safe-drinking water as part of its social obligation, which indicated that it failed the people.
By Lewis S. Teh