Home Governance Govt’s US$300,000 Budgetary Pledge To ULAA Backfires …As Liberians Express Outrage Against Action

Govt’s US$300,000 Budgetary Pledge To ULAA Backfires …As Liberians Express Outrage Against Action

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By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: Barely a week after the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Falo McGill, pledged to include the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), into next year national budget for allotment of a whopping US$300,000, scores of Liberians at home and abroad, have expressed disdain and outrage against the George Weah led government for its latest decision.

Minister McGill who is also Chief of Office Staff of President George Manneh Weah made the commitment to ULAA at its recent fund-raising program held in the USA.

During the event, Minister McGill personally contributed US$5,000; US$100,000, on behalf of the Liberian government; and US$10,000, on behalf of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah Jr.

Speaking at the occasion, Minister McGill said it is the pleasure of President George Weah to support Liberian initiatives across the country and in the Diasporas.
“The President is concerned about every citizen, the President’s desire is to see every Liberian happy, irrespective of where they are,” McGill emphasized.
McGill who described ULAA as an integral part of the growth and development of Liberia mentioned that Liberia, under the George Weah presidency is open to constructive criticisms.
“ULAA is for everyone and it should not be about former government officials. Today, I want to announce my membership. Our government intends to work with everybody; you see, one of the fiercest critics of this government, Henry Costa, has been declared a free man. We don’t have anything against anyone,” he said.
However, reacting to Minister McGill’s pledge of US$300,000 for ULAA in Liberia’s next year budget, former Minister of Finance, and current presidential hopeful, Nathaniel Barnes, strongly criticized Minister McGill and the Weah led government for such decision.
Barnes characterized the pledge made by the Weah government for ULAA as demonstration of insensitivity to the problems of the Liberian people.
Barnes strongly disagrees that ULAA is in need of the money, especially at a time when the Liberian nation is in dire of stable electricity, and its education and health systems, among many others, are faced with multiple challenges.
“ULAA has committed millions of dollars in remittances to Liberia; this money that the Weah government wants to give should be used to put chairs in the schools for our children, it should be used to improve the poor health sector; we don’t need it,” Barnes stressed.

For his part, Lawrence Yealue, Head of ‘Accountability Lab,’ has written on his official facebook page that Liberia needs to rethink. He wonders whether ULAA needs such a commitment coming from government.
“ULAA gets $100,000 donation from the government of Liberia when Monrovia is dirty and the Mayor says the government of Liberia has no money; when the Roberts International Airport has no stable electricity supply; when JFK is underfunded; and more bad governance. This country needs to rethink and rebrand,” he wrote.
ULAA held its 47th inauguration event on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
J. Shiwoh Kamara and Minerva Grant were installed as President and Vice President respectively. Other regional authorities were sworn in at the occasion.
ULAA is a voluntary, nonprofit, and non-governmental organization, founded on July 4, 1974, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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