LIBERIA’S BUDGET DROPS TO US$520M - Pres. Sirleaf Discloses

By: Lewis K. Glay

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted January 30, 2006


President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has disclosed that Liberia which used to have an annual budget of 600 million United States dollars is today trailing behind by 520 million United States dollars as its present budget stands at 80 million USD.

According to her, due to the lack of proper fiscal policy instituted by past administrations, today Liberia has 85% unemployment rate, while the nation that generated an annual budget of 600 million in 1979 could only generate 80 million in 2005 instead.

President has also reminded Liberians that the international community still needs to be engaged for assistance aimed at enhancing total peace and stability in the country.

Addressing the parliament during her Annual Address yesterday at the Capitol Building, President Johnson-Sirleaf said the nation’s economy is still in shambles, noting that reintegrating and resettling refugees and internally displaced persons to their counties of origin remain crucial and need the assistance of the international community.

She noted that the biggest challenge of her government is for Liberians to resolve collectively by creating peace, security, unity and reconciliation among themselves following years of war.

The president also attributed the downward trend of the nation’s economy to the misuse and misappropriation of public funds by past leaderships who seemed to have had no remorse to the citizens’ plight and the growth of the nation.

She also disclosed that the audit reports of several public corporations including the National Port Authority have been submitted to the Governance Reform Commission (GRC) for review and subsequent recommendations thereof will be looked into for implementation.

The President told the session that the annual address was a compilation of the outgoing National Transitional Government, noting that there was room to later scrutinize then because according to her there could be discrepancies that would be rectified.

The report also revealed improvement in both health and education sectors during the year in review which were also said to have been enhanced by donors’ assistance over the years.

She stressed the need for food security under her government while serious attention will be paid to requisite health capacity building for the well being of war ravage Liberians.

President Johnson-Sirleaf specifically prayed that the situation in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire would be amicably resolved. She said peace and total security in the West African regime remains paramount.

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