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Liberia electricity crisis, President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie Liberia electricity crisis, President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie

As Liberian Senate resumes business, Unstable Power Supply tops Legislative Agenda Featured

Liberia is seemingly the poorest or among the poorest in terms of electricity supply across the West African sub region, despite millions of United States Dollars spent in the sector by both government and the international community, and so this has captured the attention of the Liberian Senate. As such, the perennial issue of unstable power supply will be the key highlight or issue of first priority for that august body.

In line with the Act Setting the Calendar of the Adjournment of the Legislature of Liberia, the Senate officially resumed for business on May 13, 2022, but officially began plenary duty on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Plenary is the highest decision making body of either chamber of the Liberian Legislature.

In his address to Senators on the opening of Plenary and subsequently at a news conference on the return from the first constituency break, the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie, pointed out that electricity is a crucial component to economic growth and aims to cater to the welfare of citizens, and so the Upper House will not take this so lightly.

“Top on our agenda is also the issue of power supply. The Senate conducted many public hearings on the issue of electricity supply which is very crucial to economic growth and the welfare of our citizens. We hope to make headways during this second sitting,” said the Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate.

Jointly, the Grand Kru County Senator wants both chambers of the Liberian Legislature on one hand, and the Executive Branch of the Liberian government on the other hand, to have an intensive discussion that will foster solutions to stable power supply.

“The Liberian Legislature and the Executive need serious discussion on the constraints prohibiting access to the CLSG line, power theft, the settlement of the approximately USD 4.3 million the Government of Liberia owes the LEC for, inter alia, electricity supplied to Government agencies, management and capacity issues at the LEC and bureaucratic bottlenecks in the power sector which restrain investment initiatives,” asserted Pro Tempore Chie.

Furthermore, he indicated that the second sitting of the of the 5th session of the Liberian Senate will basically focus on the proposed revision to the elections law, amendment to the aliens and nationality law, preparation to submit Article 28 of the Constitution to a national referendum in 2023, proposed laws dealing with integrity institutions, review of legislation on pension for the President, Vice President and Officers and members of the Legislature; status of the national census, revision of the Drugs Law, issue of restive youth, bills proposed by Senators but are still at the House of Representatives without action, among others.

With the House of Representatives, otherwise known as the Lower House of the Liberian Legislature still mute on in convening a conference committee that will sit with the Senate’s conference committee for further discussion on the 3rd
Amendment to the ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement, he indicated that a reminder will be done so as to bring the issue to bed.

It can be recalled that on February 15, 2022, the Senate communicated with the House of Representatives of its reservation to concur with House Engrossed Bill no.46 entitled: Amendment No. 3 to the Mineral Development Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Liberia and ArcelorMittal Liberia and
ArcelorMittal Holdings A.G and transmitted the names of members of the
Senate's Conference Committee to harmonize the disparities in the input of each Chamber.

But since then, the House of Representatives has failed to release the names of members of its conference committee with rumors circulating in some quarters of the society that the Bill was returned to the Executive by the Lower House.

Also key on the Senate’s legislative agenda will be the rehabilitation of primary roads throughout the country.

“This remains a national concern. Imagine primary roads to the Southeast and other areas around the country are difficult to traverse in this dry season; what it will be like in the raining season? We need answers and solution before the rainy season begins,” added the Protemp.

 

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