The Chairman of the Margibi Legislative Caucus and Representative of electoral district #4, Ben A. Fofana has lambasted those he referred to as critics that are painting the current Caucus as being incapable.
Representative Fofana on Wednesday July 11, 2018, during an appreciation meeting at his Gotumo-Ta resident in Kakata said there are people who are misleading the public that since some former Lawmakers left the Caucus of Margibi and the House of Representatives, the Charles Henry Rennie Hospital, the Booker T. Washington Institute and the Barcolleh Health Center budgets are been reduced.
“I am glad that you brought this issue about health, because there are some of your colleagues who don’t believe in themselves, they went over air this few day they said ohhhh they are regretting that certain people that use to be part of Margibi Legislative Caucus when they were in the House of Representatives money used to come for Rennie, money used to come for Barcolleh and BWI but since they left we that there we get no capacity so they have reduced their money”, he responded to a concern raised by a youth during the meeting.
The Lawmaker addressing the concern further stated that the Barcolleh Health Center is a private-owned Institution that earns profits even though it is providing services and had been receiving subsidies from the Government of Liberia long ago.
He intoned that people attempted removing the Health Center’s name from the budget but they begged for the Center to be placed under a program that will only be controlled by the Ministry of Health indicating that the Ministry can give the facility some assistance every budget year.
Rep. Fofana acknowledged that Charles Henry Rennie operational money was reduced but not to the extent that money was taken from the Health sector.
He clarified that there are thousands of Nurses who are not on payroll as such; the Ministry of Health appealed to the Budget Committee to reduce the operational money of some of the health facilities around the Country to be able to put Nurses that are volunteering on payroll something that affected not only Rennie but all government health facilities across Liberia.
According to the Lawmaker, the Health Minister informed the Committee that if that is done; the Ministry would raise money but what was raised could not put all the nurses and other health workers on payroll something that led the Committee to take 7million from other Agencies and added to the Ministry’s budget.
He explained that the Ministry is one of those Government Institutions that received the highest increment in the 2017/2018 National Budget but the bulk of it is going towards personnel salary while the issue of drugs will be addressed.
Hon. Fofana also commenting on the BWI budget said it was not reduced but their critics are saying things that will undercut the current Lawmakers in the County that they are in the House of Representatives and they are not worth to be Representatives neither they are capable to defend BWI’s budget.
He noted that BWI is a government institution that is run by the government and can only raise internal revenue. He further clarified that the last budget year,1million dollars was allocated for the renovation of all of the departments on the Campus and there was no need to allocate the same amount in the current budget since the work was completed.
The Margibi County Caucus Chair, however, said the Institution did not get the full amount (1million) adding that it still has two hundred and fifty thousand dollars that will be given to the school. He called on his critics to go to their masters to teach them about the budget process assuming that they don’t know the process.