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G/Kru Rep wants Finance, others monitored

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Rep. Numene Bartekwa NDGrand Kru County Representative Numene Bartekwa has urged the House of Representatives to ensure that county allotments for the Ministries of Education, Health and Public Works are monitored to ensure proper use in the counties.

According to a communication to House Speaker Alex Tyler read in plenary Tuesday, Bartekwa emphasized the need for the exercise to be executed by the House’s Ways, Means, and Finance Committee to help track the performance of each ministry in the 15-counties.

The communication quoted the Grand Kru County Lawmaker as also disclosing that the three ministries were singled out because of their critical roles in government’s social service delivery, indicating that despite their huge allotments in the national budget, their impacts are hardly felt in the various counties.

he observed that because the three ministries were not held accountable to specific indicators in each of the counties, their performances were not assessed, noting that the expenditure of their respective program budgets were left at their discretions, and that giving them the options to decide what to do in a county would not augur well for the people.

“Monitoring will serve as the start of county program budgeting, which will definitely lead to equitable distribution of the nation’s resources through the national budget,” he told plenary.

On June 2, 2015, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf submitted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015/2016 Draft National Budget to the National Legislature, through the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Among key areas of expenditure in the Draft Budget are debt repayment (US$32.5 million); salaries across the government (US$252.1 million); Social Development Fund (US$23.2 million); as well as Health Sector Strengthening (US$73.0 million); Education Sector Support (US$79.4 million) and Security and Rule of Law (US$90.1 million), including (US$15 million for UNMIL Transition).

In support of major Public Sector Investments intended to advance Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery, growth and development, the Cabinet agreed to fund road construction and maintenance (US$44.3 million, including US$17.3 million as the government’s contribution to donor-funded projects), renovation of public buildings (US$9 million), expansion of electricity (US$2.4 million), as well as district development projects throughout the country – through the Legislature (US$10.9 million); water and sanitation (US$2.3 million), among others.

However the House plenary has mandated The House’s committee on Ways, Means, and Finance was mandated by Plenary to partner with the relevant Ministries for an understanding of the government’s FY2015/16 expenditure. By Ben P. Wesee – Edited by George Barpeen

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