Sen. Karnga-Lawrence: Legislature, Executive blamed for rice shortage
By Ethel A Tweh
Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence says it is unfortunate that the Minister of Commence got the approval of US$11m for rice subsidy without giving justification through public or budget hearing.
Amidst reported rice shortage in the country, the opposition Liberty Party (LP) political leader argued this week that the Executive cannot take the blame alone for the shortage of rice in the Liberian market.
Karnga – Lawrence suggested that the Legislature should share some of the blame for the rice situation in the country.
The Senate Committee Chair on Rules, Order, and Administration suggested that during the passage of the current budget, the Legislature was also proven to be very weak in its oversight responsibilities.
The Grand Bassa County Senator argued that the Legislature should have had a public and budget hearing on the US$11,000,000.00 subsidy for rice importation before passage.
Over the past few weeks, Liberians have been struggling to purchase their staple food amidst reports of hoarding.
There are suggestions that rice dealers compel buyers to purchase other commodities before being served rice.
Dealers are said to be hiking the price, and buyers can barely find rice to purchase.
Karnga-Lawrence, therefore, appealed for the Legislature to return from its break and muster the courage to deal with the shortage of rice in the Country.
The LP political leader said she believes that when the Legislature deals with the rice issue at different levels, it will help to save the country and also prevent it from generating a crisis.
She said the Executive through the Ministry of Commerce is not correctly performing its statutory obligation to bring hope to the Liberian people on the situation.