Editorial: The Liberian People Deserve Legislative Answers To Sen. Dillon’s Concern   

0 158

ON TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2022 in the plenary of the Liberian Senate, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon raised the issue of a US$30 million revenue expected to come from HPX during the critique of the 2022/2023 budget. Senator Dillon could not figure out the basis for HPX giving such a huge amount of money, particularly when the company has no legal arrangement with the Government of Liberia (GOL).

UNDER “PROMISED RESTATEMENT of the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget”, which was passed by the House of Representatives with no deliberation, revenue from HPX is the first “Proposed Revenue Source”, with a total contribution of US$30 million, followed by ArcelorMittal’s -US$25 million, leaving a balance of US$5 million. It appears like the GoL has unofficially decided to take HPX US$30 million over AML’s initial payment of US$25 million, which was to be transferred to GoL as signature bonus and reservation fees after the company’s new MDA is ratified.

DEEPLY TROUBLED SENATOR Dillon raised the concern, “I have a few concerns. HPX, whatever it is contributing US$30 million to the budget…Maybe I forgot: is there an existing agreement between the Government of Liberia (GOL) and this HPX regarding the usage of our railroad, and has this agreement been brought before this body for our Legislative consideration?” Senator Dillon’s troubled continence has reached the Liberian people, who deserve legislative answers to the senator’s concern.

SENATOR DILLON WONDERED how the Ministry of Finance would include in the recast budget a source of revenue that has not been scrutinized in line with the provisions of the relevant laws of Liberia. “I was wondering if there was an MDA between the company and the Government of Liberia (GOL) for which such an amount is projected as revenue to be received from this company,” Senator Dillon said. He rightly argued that HPX is a concessionaire, and all its agreements with the government are therefore subject to rectification by the National Legislature.

“SO WE ARE taking people’s money but we have not done the legal thing to bring their agreement before the Legislature for rectification, in keeping with the law?”

AS DILLON SPOKE from his seat in the lower right of the Senate’s chamber, the Senate went completely silent in an apparent shock: a foreign firm whose agreement has never reached the stairs of the Capitol Building was contributing a whopping US$30 million in revenue through the budget without any explanation of the basis.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Corona Update Liberia