By E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.
MONROVIA: Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, has disclosed that the Government of Liberia (GoL) has captured US$120 million through its fiscal space mobilization pattern.
He said portion of the amount will be used to fund the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections and electricity project.
According to Minster Tweah, with the availability of the US$120 million from domestic revenue, the government is capacitated to underwrite the cost of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, with the amount of US$51million.
Minister Tweah said owing to the generation of additional domestic revenue, amounting to US$120 million, the government is in the position to shoulder all expenses attached to the holding of the 2023 elections and the provision of electricity.
He said another portion of the US$120 million will be used to underwrite the payment of the electricity supply to Liberia through the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) power supply line arrangement.
According to the Finance boss, undertaking the funding of an additional electric power supply through the CLSG agreement will enable more Liberians get uninterrupted access to electricity as the dry season fast approaches.
Minister Tweah also said the nonstop flow of electricity from the CLSG line, will add up to the huge reduction in the tariff on electric power supply from US$52cents to US$15cent for kilowatts, as such, the menace of power theft is expected to be curtailed.
According to Minister Tweah, had it not been for funding the 2023 elections and the funding of additional source of electrify, the US$120million would have been invested in health and education sectors.
Minister Tweah pointed out that had it not been for the urgency to fund elections and electricity, huge portion of the money would have gone to investment in human resource capital.
However, Minister Tweah said that after the 2023 Polls, the legislature will make use of the fiscal space created by the funding of elections and electricity to direct investment in building Liberians human capital.
“The Legislature will take the fiscal space after the 2023 Elections to invest in education and health,” he asserted.
He lauded the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for what he termed as doing remarkably well to increase the generation of domestic revenue space, saying, “LRA has impressively done well to expand the revenue space”.
Speaking on a wide range of governance issues during an interview with several ‘Talk Show Hosts’ on state radio-LBS and also simulcast on various FM stations on Tuesday November 8, 2022, Minister Tweah praised the government for making tremendous progress in its fiscal space mobilization initiative.
Minister Tweah said immediately the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) took the seat of governance, almost all donor’s funding were withdrawn, a situation, he says, prompted the government to initiate a robust fiscal space mobilization scheme.
Finance Minister Tweah said the fiscal space mobilization module has immensely helped the government to some extent, in making good on its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) roadmap.
He named the inclusion of two thousand health workers on government payroll, costing US$12 million, underwriting the cost of free tertiary education for nearly 40,000 students at the cost of US$4 million, and the payment of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees, costing US$2.5million as benefits of the government fiscal space mobilization.