By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.
The Chairman of the Grand Gedeh County Legislative Caucus, Representative Alex Grant has refuted claims made by the Grand Gedeh University Students Union (GUSU) that the Caucus has held an illegal sitting for County Social Development Funds (CSDF). The students also alleged that the caucus has during the county sitting to make allotments for major areas of development in the county’s budget.
Representative Grant who said the county sitting was legal pointed out that some institutions of the county, including Grand Gedeh University Students Union, Zwedru City Cooperation, Grand Gedeh County Sport Association, amongst others were not given any funding for what he termed as “being delinquent”, coupled with their failure to make financial reports on previous funds allotted to them over the past year.
It can be recalled that following the recent Grand Gedeh County sitting to derive projects of the County Social Development Funds in the county, the Grand Gedeh University Students Union, under the banner the Intellectual Class of Grand Gedeh County, alleged that the sitting was illegitimate. They also stated that only two of the five members of the legislative caucus were in attendance at the sitting.
The group alleged that the sitting was marred by multiple violations of the 2018/ 2019 national budget law of Liberia in which they quoted section 9-J i & ii which give delegations the responsibility to only carry out allocations for development projects.
A statement signed by Watson Chelley as chairman also alleged that Rep. Grant who is the chairman of the Caucus abrogated portion of the Budget Law thereby introducing his personal resolution mandating the delegates to sign and deny any opposition, saying further that allotments were not made for vital sectors including Health and other areas that should have been priority at the sitting.
The statement also quoted number vii, viii, & ix of the Budget Law as mandating the signing of a resolution and distribution of signed copies before adjourning the sitting, but alleged that it was not in the case of their resolution up to present.
But the Grand Gedeh County lawmaker said refuted the claims, saying, “The Institutions are delinquent in meeting their financial obligations like making report; yet they still want to be supported by public money. No! It does not go that way. As long as I remain the Chairman of the Grand Gedeh County Legislative Caucus, no one group will receive funding from us as long as the group refused to account for previous funds given them,” Rep. Grant stressed.
The Caucus has nothing against any institution in the county, especially the Grand Gedeh University Students Union for which there was no allotment made to them. He explained that they are willing to contribute to every segment of the county if they will agree to comply with required financial regulations, including submission of financial reports, Representative Grant said.
The Grand Gedeh County Legislative Caucus Chairman however alluded to one of the allegations by the students that there was no money appropriated for the health sector of the county. He indicated that there were some key areas that needed to be looked at since the central government has taken responsibility of the health sector of the county.