The Liberian Senate is calling on the steering committee that headed the distribution of the coronavirus stimulus package to account for US$25 million that was given to the committee for the stimulus package during the health crisis here.
The Senate has cited former Commerce Minister Prof. Wilson Tarpeh who now heads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and all those who headed the distribution process to account for the US$25 million that was given to them.
The Senate also wants the World Food Program (WFP) to give the steering committee a report of how the money was used.
Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon stressed that auditing doesn’t mean someone has stolen, adding that they just want an account for how the money that the Legislature approved was spent.
Senators on Capitol Hill are raising concerns that “This is the second US$25 million that the Legislature has approved for the benefit of our people and they have not benefited from it and there is no account of the first $25 million and now the second $25 million.”
“Whenever we say these things we indict ourselves. We will make the public not to trust us anymore whenever we sign a joint resolution. We have the oversight responsibility over all of these things, ” Bong County Senator Prince Moye says.
Also speaking, Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay says in Jacksonville, Sinoe County, there was a dispute over the stimulus package, adding that the whole county was given US$17,000 out of $25 million.
He explains that during the dispute, those that were sharing the goods in Sinoe locked the warehouse and ran away, saying that up to now, there’s no account for the food. Grand Cape Mount senator H. Varney Sherman says there’s a need for all those agencies to come and justify, noting that there is no way to summon the WFP.
According to him, whenever the steering committee is asked, it always makes reference to WFP. Also speaking, Maryland County Senator James Barney says the Senate should have reviewed the contract given to WFP in order to ask the necessary questions.
Expressing a contrary view, Grand Kru County Senator NumeneBartekwa says Senator Dillon keeps bringing up the issue of the stimulus package as if he is the only person who cares for it, saying that the committee needs to work effectively so that this issue shouldn’t come on the Senate floor again. By Ethel A Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley