Hon. Younquoi Expounds on “Stand Alone” County Social Development Bill

Photo Credit:

On October 18-19, 2019, a consortium of Civil Society Coalition in Liberia, in collaboration USAID, held a two-day training session for all Superintendents and Chairpersons of the Project Management Committees (PMC) of the country on the conduct of County Council Sitting which is usually undertaken by each county following the passage of a Fiscal Year budget. The training specifically focused on creating awareness on Section 10 of the current budget law which has to do with the utilization of the County and Social Development Funds. Section 10 replaces Section 9 of the budget law which had addressed the subject matter in previous years.

Sensing the series of manipulations the previous section had been subjected to over years, owing to it’s volatility, to the detriment of the benefitting counties, I earlier this year, introduced a billed calling for the extraction of the Section in question and making it a STAND ALONE Law. In the wisdom of me and my co-sponsors, transforming Section 9, which stipulates the processes leading to the judicious use of the County and Social Development Funds into a distinct Statue, will prevent it against the possibility of it being annually manipulated since the budget law is resubmitted annually. A separate statue need not be subjected to amendment annually without going through the rigors of legislation.

Speaking to the audience as to the status of said bill, I made them to understand that the bill is ready for passage considering that more than majority member of the joint committee handling have signed and awaiting debate and passage. Buttressing me was the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Prince Moye, who served as the Keynote Speaker. In his statement, he said that , though the law has not yet passed as a separate law, all its crucial component parts were incorporated into the current budget law. Other law makers present at the training joined the Deputy Speaker In guaranteeing the passage if the law upon our resumption of duties.

The law calls for sending the quotas of benefitting counties directly into their respective ESCROW ACCOUNTS, while allowing the ministries of Internal Affairs as well as Finance to play their traditional roles as well as transparency and VALUE FOR MONEY is concerned. Another very important aspect of the law the encouragement of INCLUSIVENESS in the use of the funds. For instance, it makes it mandatory for women to constitute , at least 30 Percent of delegates to the county sitting. It also bars Legislators from voting, even though the Caucus Chairs serves as Chairperson of the sitting.

For the record, Superintendent Dorr Cooper and the PMC Comptroller of Nimba County were in attendance and made tremendous contributions to the deliberation.