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Friday, June 14, 2024

LIBERIAN SENATE RESUMES LEGISLATIVE WORK UNDER PRO TEMPORE KARNGA-LAWRENCE, HIGHLIGHTS KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

Date:

MONROVIA – The Liberian Senate, under the leadership of Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence as President Pro Tempore, resumed legislative work for the second segment of its first session of the 55th Legislature on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

In her opening remarks, Pro Tempore Karnga Lawrence welcomed her colleagues and commended them for their dedication and commitment to the agenda of the special sitting, which concluded two weeks ago. She emphasized the spirit of collaboration, teamwork, and consultative engagement among senators, noting that these elements have enhanced working relationships and improved the quality of work within the Senate’s various committees.

During her address, Pro Tempore Karnga Lawrence outlined several accomplishments of the recently concluded special sitting under her leadership. Key among these achievements was the breakdown of the recently passed budget, highlighting crucial interventions aimed at benefiting major sectors in the country.

She mentioned the appropriation of initial funds amounting to six hundred thousand United States dollars ($600,000) for the construction of the CH Rennie Hospital, the procurement of ninety-five (95) vehicles for police operations in each county, one million dollars for the renovation of the Police Academy and training, and the allocation of 4.4 million dollars for the payroll of over two thousand (2,000) volunteer teachers who had been without salaries for over ten years.

Madam Lawrence further disclosed additional allocations, including one million dollars for the Liberian Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) for rehabilitation and data collection programs for at-risk youths, and two million dollars for fire trucks to reactivate fire stations nationwide.

Other allocations included a 2.5 million dollar increase to the Monrovia City Corporation and Paynesville City for community and city worker salaries, a 4.4 million dollar increase for referral hospitals in the health sector, three million dollars for programs for the well-being of men and women in the armed forces of Liberia, and five hundred thousand dollars to open the TRC Trust Fund.

Recognizing the significance of the airport as the gateway to the country’s economy, Pro Tempore Karnga Lawrence announced an allocation of 7.5 million dollars to the Roberts International Airport for the purchase of navigational aids, two additional fire trucks, and other necessities.

She revealed that twenty-five percent of the road fund had been allocated in the budget for road equipment in all counties, and emphasized that the appropriation also focused on creating a conducive working environment at the Senate, including provisions for water in all bathrooms, Wi-Fi throughout the building, and the Senate journal.

To further enhance the working environment for Senate staff, Pro Tempore Lawrence announced that, under her leadership, the Senate had approved two buses for staffers and reinstated health insurance for all employees.

Additionally, the budget includes support for the modernization of the Senate, including the renovation of the old chambers and main building, the Senate website, digitization of the work environment, access control, and an open process.

Pro Tempore Karnga Lawrence assured the people of Liberia that with these programs and others not mentioned, there would be a more transparent expenditure process. She pledged her leadership’s commitment to ensuring that the budget benefits all counties, with the Senate taking a more robust approach to implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

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