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HOR Charges Justice Minster For Contempt

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By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: The plenary of the House of Representative has held Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean in contempt over his refusal to honor the House’s invitation on the continuation of compliance with the National Road Fund Act of 2017.

Minister Dean who is also the Attorney General of Liberia was invited along with the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, Marie Coleman Urey and all Petroleum Importers to explain the deplorable state of roads in Liberia.
Though others were in attendance, the Justice Minister whose presence was significant failed to appear without a justifiable reason or notification to the House of Representative.
The plenary on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 unanimously endorsed a motion mandating the Justice Minister to appear this Thursday to state why he should not be held in contempt by that body amid his failure to honor their invitation on the road fund compliance hearing.
“Honorable Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Fellow colleagues, I moved if I can obtain a second that the Justice Minister, Frank Musa after receiving two separate letters from the Chief Clerk who carries out our function and fail to appear should be held in contempt and be made to appear next Thursday to show reason why contempt charges should not place on him,” Lofa County Representative Clarence Massaquoi made the motion which was seconded in open plenary.
Representative Massaquoi then questioned the Justice Minister deliberate attempts to deprive the ordinary people of much needed information bordering on the Road Fund which he said, could enhance the economic condition of the people.
However, the petroleum importers who are indebted to the government of Liberia with respect to their operations across the country were asked to appear this Thursday along with the Attorney General in a bid to ascertain the real issues on non-compliance with the Road Fund Act of 20217.
The importers, for instance are: Srimex Petroleum of businessman turned politician, Musa Bility, Kailondo Gas station of George Kailondo and National Petroleum (NP) among others.
They are expected show proof why they are not in good standing in the payment of their road fund tax.
The National Road Fund Act authorizes that monies collected would be exclusively devoted to Periodic and Routine maintenance of roads, bridges and directly associated facilities maintenance throughout the Republic of Liberia.
Emergency works to a maximum of 7% of annual expenditures on road maintenance by the fund. Rehabilitation and improvement works including paving of roads to a maximum of 40% of its annual revenue only through servicing of long term loans for improvement of strategic roads.
The road maintenance programme is to be managed by the MPW / IIU. In 2016 the Government also introduced a fuel levy of 25c per gallon to resource the NRF. The National Budget Law for 2018 / 2019 factored a 30cent on per gallon of fuel.
The Act further said the NRF ensure that road assets are sustained and that sufficient funds for both periodic and routine maintenance are allocated for this purpose. “To ensure that each of the categories of national, sub-national and feeder roads have a sufficient share of the total budget such that these roads can operate as an integrated network; defray the costs of loans approved by Government to extend the length of maintainable roads.”

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