By Ethel A Tweh
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has cited the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah, to appear before the full plenary this Thursday, March 3, 2022, to provide a detailed explanation on a communication submitted by the ministry, detailing domestic and external debts Portfolio of the government.
The senate’s decision Tuesday, March 1, 2022, followed a communication from Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, requesting Plenary to cite authorities of the Finance Ministry to provide detailed information on the country’s domestic and external debts Portfolio.
Dillon expressed concerns that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning must state a list of vendors, what services they performed and whether a bid was conducted for such vendors to be contracted, and what specific amount is owed to each vendor as opposed to placing a bulk figure in the budget to pay domestic and external debts.
The Ministry however submitted a list of vendors and debts owed to every member of the senate subsequently.
The Minister of Finance and Development planning was recently cited by the Liberian Senate to provide clarity on the US$120m Domestic and External Debt Services owed by the Government of Liberia. Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs Samora Wolokolie, who represented the Ministry last week, was thrown out for improper dress code.
The government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning informed Plenary that out of the total amount owed vendors, US$84.95 million constituting 70.8 percent was appropriated for domestic debt services to pay for interest on instruments to both Commercial Banks and the Central Bank of Liberia as well as vendors’ claims confirmed by the court and regular vendors’ claims that have acuminated to the amount of US$705.09 Million as of December 31, 2021, while US$35.05 Million accounts for external debt services.
According to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through a communication sent to the Senate, the Government of Liberia is indebted to various Commercial Banks in the amount of US$109.4 Million through the issuance of various instruments and other direct advances. Editing by Jonathan Browne