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Senate mandates payment to families of victims from sinking vessel Niko Ivanka

By Ethel A Tweh

Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie discloses here that besides US$100,000 already provided by the Government of Liberia to families of victims from the sinking vessel Niko Ivanka last year in Marshall, off the coast of Monrovia, the Senate has approved a resolution, mandating payment of US$20,000 to family of each of the persons who lost their lives in the tragedy. 

Senator Chie says the Senate has been concerned about the loss of lives as the result of the sinking of the Niko Ivanka Vessel.

The Liberian Senate on Thursday, March 24, closed for Easter Break to resume the second week in May. The Fiscal year has changed and now commences on January 1 and ends on December 31st of each year, leading to the change in the calendar year.

Making the disclosure Thursday, at the Capitol, Pro-Tempore Chie said in line with an Act of the Legislature approved on March 16, 2022, the Legislature will now have three constituency breaks, beginning with Easter.

He says since the commencement of the 5th session, the Legislature has passed the Bao Chico Mineral Development Agreement for iron ore deposits in Western Liberia and also the Mano Palm restated Concession and Incentives Agreements for oil palm production and processing also in Western Liberia, adding that the ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement is currently a subject of a conference Committee of both legislative Chambers.

He notes that the special budget which ran from July to December 2021, has not closed yet and that there is a risk of a shortfall of approximately US$30m by the time it closes on March 31st this year.

The Senate President Pro-Tempore continues that the looming shortfall could originate from the projection of funds that should have accrued to the Government from the ratification of the ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement that has not occurred.

“Some budgeted amounts and processed allotments from the special six months budget may not be paid to Government agencies and other institutions unless the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning finds alternative source of revenue”, he hints.

He also reveals that upon their return, the Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry would investigate in-depth, cardinal reasons why Agricultural production remains low even with hundreds of millions of US Dollars from multilateral, bilateral and national sources that have been invested in the sector.

The Grand Kru County Senator underscores a need for government to re-activate the Agricultural Development Bank or to establish a new institution with a similar function to inter Alia, serving as the medium for the management of all agriculture loans, grants and other funds for proper use and accountability.

Chie says that the committees on Commerce and Ways, Means, Finance and Budget need to investigate the usefulness and financial soundness of duty-free privileges, especially in petroleum products, adding that initial assessment indicates massive abuse and financial losses to the Government for many decades. Editing by Jonathan Browne


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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