Senate Cites Finance, Commerce Ministers, Others Over Rice Subsidy

MONROVIA, Oct. 20 (LINA) -The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has cited the Ministers of Finance and Development Planning, Commerce and Industries, and Agriculture to appear Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at 12 noon to clarify issues surrounding rice subsidy.

The sectorial ministries are to provide an explanation on the US$ 11 million (eleven million United States dollars) provided to the Ministry of Commerce as a subsidy to importers of rice in the 2022 fiscal budget.

The decision by the Senate’s Plenary was triggered by a communication from Grand Bassa County Senator, Jonathan L. Kaipay, highlighting the troubling development surrounding the shortage of the nation’s staple food, rice.

 Senator Kaipay indicated that a reflection on the country’s political history provides an instructive lesson as to the crippling effects the unavailability or shortage of rice has had on the peace and stability of the State.

The Grand Bassa lawmaker said with the available amount in the 2022 fiscal budget, there should not have been any strangulation of the population considering the fact that the budget is in its full implementation stage and there has been no representation from the Executive Branch regarding impediments on its implementation.

According to Senator Kaipay, the appearance of the two principal ministries of government before the Senate Plenary is the proper and necessary step in the fulfillment of the oversight function of the Senate.

At the same time, the Senate has instructed its Secretary, J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, to cite the authority of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) to appear on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, before the upper House as a “Committee of a Whole”.

The decision by Plenary on Thursday, October 20, 2022, was based on a concern raised by Gbarpolu County Senator, Botoe Kanneh, seeking the indulgence of the Senate to make clarity on certain aspects of the Forestry Law.


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