LIBERIA – Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon is angry by the failure of Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to appear before the Liberian Senate yesterday.
The Liberian Finance Minister was supposed to appear before the senate to give the full list and all documentation of domestic debts but failed.
The Finance Minister’s failure to appear yesterday angered several senators including Dillon of Montserrado County.
Dillon told newsmen he wants to know the full list of Liberians who are on the domestic debts rooster; those who are being awarded contracts for which they are being paid.
Dillon added that it appears that some of his colleagues are colluding with the people who are dodging them from obtaining the full listing of domestic debts.
He added that Finance Minister Tweah must be transparent on the domestic issue; you have paid off on the previous budget? Where is the list that you have paid off or want to pay off? Where are the individuals that you paid off in the 2021 budget? Who are they? Who are they for which you earmarked over US$80Million? Dillon requested; pointing out that he would work with his colleagues to invite Tweah and hold him in contempt of the Legislature.
“If you say you contracted people to provide goods and services to the government, where are they? Goods and service is a broad phrase, we want a clear list and documentation on the domestic debts.
This is why I want the Finance Minister to be called in and charged with contempt of the legislature for his failure to appear before the senate yesterday, he stated
Tweh had earlier said he would provide a full list and documentation on domestics to the senate, later in radio interview said the Government of Liberia does not have a fully comprehensive list of all its domestic debts owed from the era of the country’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts to incumbent President George Manneh Weah’s administration.
The government does not have all the documents requested by the senate concerning the comprehensive domestic debt of the country.
Mr. Tweh claimed the government was working with the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to have the full list of all government domestic debts cataloged.
According to him, a full list of domestic debt which was settled by the government was earlier presented to the Liberian Senate in such a comprehensive manner.
He said after the payment of those debts, they received an additional claim from over 2000 individuals and institutions who said the Government of Liberia was owing them.
Tweah said every institution and individual in Liberia who has claimed government indebtedness has been instructed to make their case to the GAC. He said GAC will audit and present the full list to the Ministry of Finance before payment is made.
“We don’t have the capacity right now to pay anybody, therefore, we have instructed anyone that has problems on providing service to the government and they have not been paid to go to the GAC and make their claims with evidence,” Tweah explained.
Minister Tweh accused Senator Dillon of playing politics with the debt issue.
He suggested that the Government of Liberia is transforming the debt space which he claimed was under the table and Liberians had no knowledge about.
“Last year we spent 84 million on domestic debts and we broke it down and presented the report to the Senate. Now Senator [is] asking to see me, it’s politics he is playing,” Minister Tweah claimed.