Monrovia: Tuesday, February 4, 2014: The Press Union of Liberia will on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 resume its intellectual platform, the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum with a cross sectional discussion on the $73m District Impact Fund, being proposed by House Speaker Alex Tyler.
Wednesday's Forum will be held under the theme: Dissecting Propositions for the $73m District Impact Fund, and will hear from House Speaker Alex Tyler as the principal presenter. Informed discussions will come from renowned Liberian economist and veteran politician Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, Mrs. Frances Greaves, Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, and former Internal Affairs Minister Blamoh Nelson.
At the opening of the third session of the 53rd Legislature early in January, Speaker Tyler proposed the allocation of US$73 million in the forthcoming national budget to ensure impact at the district level.
This pronouncement has spurred debates in various sectors of Liberian society about the suitability of such proposal, the ultimate benefit to the society, as well as perceived political benefits members of the legislature may want to accrue from such an action. Critics have described the proposal, among others, as a scheme by lawmakers to land more money into their pockets, while many others are yet to get a clearer understanding of the proposal.
The PUL said debate on the proposal has not been properly structured, and fears that it risks been skewed by competing interests that are not necessarily in the greater interest of the state and the people.
The journalist union is hopeful that the Blyden Forum will help shape the debate, wherein panelists will provide other perspectives on this issue, upon advisement from the media and public.
The Blyden Forum is a regular intellectual discourse held under the auspices of the Press Club to bring together stakeholders including politicians, civil society actors and the media to discuss burning national issues towards finding a better and collective solution.
The Forum will be held at the CREWOM Redemption Cathedral, adjacent the PUL Headquarters on Clay Street, beginning at 11 am.
D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh