By Lewis S Teh
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah threatens to hold back salaries of heads of ministries, agencies and commissions for their alleged failure to present budget performance report to his office.
“I didn’t make that law; it’s the legislature and it says the Minister of Finance will hold back salaries of officials, who failed to report for the budget given their various institutions”, the minister explains.
Minister Tweah made the threat on Monday, June 4, when the Government of Liberia and the European Union signed four new financing agreements in the tune of US$88 million and 80 million euros, respectively.
Tweah discloses that the Public Financial Management Law of Liberia gives him the authority to hold back salaries of officials, who refuse to present financial reports on allotments received through the national budget.
“Our President declared last year and this year as a year of governance, so we are working to ensure all government ministries, agencies and commissions are in tight; it’s against this call that we are making sure that government entities that received public funds must account for them and report in time.”
The minister says financial reporting has become a challenge, and all ministries have to report on time, adding that the law says if a minister is not reporting on time, his or her salary would be withheld.
“If there are government entities not reporting, the Minister will hold your salary; we will enforce this law, now it’s my responsibility as finance minister to implement the PFM law”, Tweah underscores.
The Government of Liberia and the European Union (EU) on Monday, June 5, signed a US$88 million package to support various public programs here, as both parties begin a new phase of partnership.
Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah signed on behalf of the Liberian government, while the Head of EU Delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, signed for the EU during a ceremony held at the EU Delegation headquarters in Mamba Point, Monrovia.
The signing took place in the context of the 50th Anniversary of EU- Liberia relations. In 1973, the Commission of the European Economic Community established its first office in Liberia, which has since been upgraded to a full diplomatic mission, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Liberia.
The new phase of EU-Liberia development partnership stems from 2021 to 2025, for which a total of 191 million euros or 220 million U.S. dollars has been earmarked. Editing by Jonathan Browne