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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: CDC Caucus to Block Boakai’s $41 Million Spending

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By Blamo N. Toe

Liberia’s new government faces a potential shutdown as opposition lawmakers plot to trash President Joseph Boakai’s short-term spending request in the absence of an approved national budget.

The President’s short-term bill contains doubtful and unexplained budget lines that requires reasonable clarity, according to Senator Nathaniel McGill chairs the opposition CDC legislative Caucus.

The Caucus is the largest in bloc in the legislature with the strength of about 36 lawmakers, dominating both the Senate and the House.

Boakai recently asked lawmakers to grant him the permission to spend $41 million United States dollars for the two-month period end February to avoid the halting the running of the government.

“In view of the fact that the draft budget for the fiscal year 2024 was returned and is being finalized for resubmission, the operations of the Government have to continue to avoid a shutdown,” the President said.

“In view of the above, we are seeking the authorization to spend the amount of US$41,300,000.00 as reflected in the detailed attachment. This amount will cover the Government operations for the month of February 2024,” the communication read.

In response the McGill and the CDC Caucus said the President’s request requires a review to ensure spending items are legitimate.

“The CDC is very concerned and the budget will be thoroughly debated. We will only support the budget if we have full detailed clarification,” McGill said Friday.

“For instance we don’t know when the President says: he wants to pay a domestic debt of $5 million United States dollars; operation of $2 million and we don’t know what that US$2 million is and we want a full detailed explanation.”

“All we’re saying to the President is to explain to us why you want to spend US$41.3 million for a short term basis which is February and you’re giving unexplained reasons.”

 

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