Thursday, July 17, 2008

Senator wants police budget increased

Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:55 By Bill K. Jarkloh

The Senate Committee Chairman on Defense, National Security, Intelligence and Veteran, Bomi County Senator Lahai Lansana has disclosed his committee’s recommendation Tuesday that the budgetary allotment for the Liberian National Police in the national budget should be increased to at least US$2m for logistical support.

A United States based online magazine, the quotes Senator Lansana as saying that it is a pity that the National Police does not have logistics such as sufficient vehicles and other equipment to combat the increasing wave of criminalities in the country.

Police Inspector General Beatrice Munah Sieh standing with Budget Director Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan in Voinjama, Lofa County during President Sirleaf's Cabinet Retreat in that county. Courtsey to Bill K. Jarkloh

Sen. Lansana’s concern came at the time the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, Cllr. Philip A. Z. Banks is requesting the Legislature to step up the budgetary allotment for the police.

Appearing before the joint House budget hearing recently, Minister Banks pleaded with the houses of Representatives and the Senate to see reason to increase the budget for the police to enable them fight crime in Monrovia and other parts of the Country.

But Sen. Lansana noted that it was troublesome that the Government allotted to the police only US$100,000 in the draft 2008/2009 National Budget intended for the purchase of vehicles for the police.

Senator Lansana indicated that police officers who may not be up to the task and the new challenges posed to the security as a result of increasing criminally should not be dropped from the police force, but should instead be sent back to the training academy for upgrading rehearsals.

The senior Bomi County senator is fearing that dropping them after previously been trained may be counter-productive to the security objectives of the country.

In a related development, the Senate also passed other laws in concurrence with the House of Representatives. Senate President Pro-Tempore Isaac Nyenabo told journalists at the Capitol Building shortly after the passage of the “Armed Robbery Bill”, other laws such as the “Chemical Weapon Act” and the “Act Establishing Criminal Court ‘D’ at the Temple of Justice to directly deal with rape cases.

However, the Senate rejected another Bill Seeking to Repeal the “COMIUN’s 20 Years Tax Free Act” from the Executive which was ratified by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly.

The Senate urged the Executive to renegotiate with COMIUN GSM Communication Company just as it did with Firestone Robber Plantation Company, and that outcome of such negotiation would be passed into law in the future.

Before the Senate Plenary’s decision rejecting the repeal of the Concessionaire Agreement between COMIUN and the Government of Liberia, the Senate’s Judiciary Committee which perused the Act initially recommended to the full Plenary that the Concession Agreement between the government and COMIUN be repealed owing to the bad business practices of the GSM company, according to on line magazine