US$6 Billion Needed For Pro-Poor Agenda -Says Deputy Minister Flomo

Deputy Minister for Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Augustus J. Flomo says the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government needs US$6 billion to achieve its Pro-Poor Agenda in the next five to six years.

Flomo made the disclosure recently in Ganta at the start of a three-day national traditional leaders’ conference on the government’s development agenda.

The gathering is intended to seek support from traditional leaders to actively support Weah’s development agenda.

As Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Flomo said the conference provided him the opportunity to listen to the traditional leaders and elders.

“They provided some good insights that the government can consider as the Pro-Poor Agenda is being finalized,” he said, noting that they placed particular emphasis on agriculture. He said the government hopes to complete the agenda by June 30.

According to Flomo, US$3.5 billion will be raised internally while US$2.5 billion is expected to come from external partners.

Job creation, health, infrastructure, sustaining the peace, reconciliation, governance and transparency, education, electricity, and the economy are all being captured in the Pro-Poor Agenda, Flomo said.

He noted particularly that “there is no way the government can have an effective and functioning economy without electricity.”
The Deputy Minister pointed out that if the government diversifies the economy and keeps it more functional, domestic revenue generation will be increased.

He noted that past economic shocks had limited the government’s revenue-generating capability, including the Ebola outbreak, the drop in the price of the country two major commodities on the international market, the drawdown of UNMIL, coupled with the prolonged 2017 election cycle.

“The government is working to remove itself from the strangulation position and it is the process we are putting in the Pro-Poor Agenda,” he said.

He said he believes that the Pro-Poor Agenda can be achieved through collaboration among the government, civil society, traditional leaders, the private sector, and partners.

At the same time, Deputy Minister for Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Augustus J. Flomo, has revealed that the World Bank has provided a US$850 million portfolio for projects in Liberia

He stated that out of this amount, US$441million has been disbursed on projects, while the balance US$409million has not yet been disbursed.

Minister Flomo made the disclosure Tuesday at a one-day Country Portfolio Performance Review held at a local hotel in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor.

He indicated that the country performance review is intended to look at what projects the World Bank is supporting in the country as a sponsor to government and the people of Liberia.

Flomo asserted that the review process will evaluate projects that have done well and what needs to be improved to produce results on time.

According to Deputy Minister Flomo, every implementation has challenges and that if the government is aware of them, it will be prepared to work along with partners to overcome these challenges for effective implementation of the World Bank projects to benefit the Liberian people.

He noted that if unnecessary bureaucracy will hinder projects to be executed on time on the side of government or implementing partners, it should be reconsidered to ensure that government performs its obligation to the people and nation.

According to him, President George Weah expects results, rather than unnecessary bureaucracies which could delay major projects to transform the living condition of the Liberian people.

Minister Flomo emphasized that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government will perform adequately to ensure that the Liberian people give another mandate to them to govern after the first six years in power.

The one-day review of the portfolio of the country performance on projects under the World Bank brought together government officials from various ministries and agencies, as well as local and international partners.

Also, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah has emphasized the need for Liberia to undertake huge investment in the agriculture sector as well as generate more electricity in order to boost government’s development agenda.

He said Liberia will need to generate about 300 to 400 megawatts of power in order to achieve significant transformation in the private sector.

Tweah who spoke recently in Monrovia at the World Bank Liberia Country Partnership Framework for Media Institutions noted that the Government of Liberia is currently struggling to transmit the 88 megawatts of power being generated by the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant due to some challenges.

He expressed optimism that 12 months from now, there will be significant transformation and improvement in the transmission of the 88 megawatts of power being generated by the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant
Tweah said investment in a nation is done based upon the availability of infrastructure, noting that investors will be reluctant to invest in Liberia due to the low output of electricity in the country.

“Liberia is a sovereign state and it must develop its own sovereign obligation by expanding electricity, connecting roads, investing in education and promoting the Agriculture Sector,” Tweah indicated.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Finance consumes 350 gallons of fuel a day to run the entity, especially when the Liberia Electricity Cooperation is experiencing a power outage.

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