Labour Minister Chief Moses Y. Kollie has informed members of the Legislative Budget Committee that Liberia through the Ministry of Labour stands to be denied speaking at future international labour conferences if she fails to pay over Fifty-two Thousand United States Dollars (US$52,000) as dues to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and African Region Labour Administration Center (ARLAC).
“As a Ministry that is connected to international bodies like the ILO and ARLAC, we have a commitment to pay about US$52,000.00 as a contribution to these organizations. During the last fiscal year, we were unable to pay.”
Minister Kollie told members of the joined Legislative Budget Committee that if said amount is not paid, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour will not be allowed to speak at events organized by these two international bodies and as such stands to forfeit other benefits.
The Liberian Labour Minister made these assertions recently when he appeared before the Legislative Budget Committee to defend the 2019/20 Fiscal Budget of the Ministry.
He told the committee that out of the US$2,098,439 appropriation in the 2018/19 budget by the legislature, only US$1,866,572.49 were allotted by the Ministry of Finance while the difference of US$369,000.11 was unpaid.
The Minister further informed the committee that with support from the Ministry of Finance ninety-two (92) contractors were recruited as a way of being effective and to perform the task of the Ministry in line with the request made to the Budget Committee during the 2018/19 hearings. He added that on the bases of the 92 recruited contractors, the Ministry of Labour performed very well during the last budget year in terms of revenue raised from 3.5m in 2017/18 budget year to 4.6 million 2018/19.
“We are experiencing some constraints in the effective running of the Ministry. Though the legislature approved additional US$200,000 in the last budget for the Ministry to allow us increase our revenue generating capacity, the Ministry did not have access to this amount due to the failure of the Ministry of Finance to allot said amount, but we were able to generate nearly US$5 M. Also, because we could not access this amount, we were unable to purchase stationaries, logistics, equipment, etc. to effectively carry out our jobs.”
Hon. Kollie alarmed that as a Ministry facing serious constraints and challenges due to implementation of the past budget it is expected to experience reduction of over US$400,000 in the 2019/20 Fiscal budget under discussion.
“Honorable Chairman and members of the Committee, we request that you kindly restore the amount deducted in the draft budget before you and also to kindly request that you introduce a new system that will help the Ministry of Labour as a revenue generating agency to become more effective, because if I may reiterate; you provided us amount of US$200.000 in the last budget with an understanding that we would have to perform beyond 3.5m and we collected close to 5m eventhough, we did not have access this amount. We ask that you kindly decide on measures to ensure that any amount apportioned to the Ministry by you, we should be able to again access to said amount.”