Philadelphia– Liberia’s Finance Minister, Amara Konneh warns of another April 14th Rice Riot -style incidence in his country if the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf does not change course in the way it expends revenue collected.
According to Finance Minister Konneh, his Ministry has collected $3.1 billion in revenue since President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took the helm of governance in Liberia but regrettably, 60% of the revenue is spent on government administration which represents just 40,000 people of the country’s 4 million population. “This has to stop”, Minister Konneh cautioned on how the Sirleaf government expends revenue generated and warns if revenue generated is not equitably expanded across the population, he foresees another April 14th Rice Riot-style incident in Liberia.
The Liberian Finance Minister made the bombshell disclosure and warning yesterday in Lansdowne, the outskirts of Philadelphia when he addressed a town hall meeting of Liberians in the Diaspora, saying “I am not hear to campaign but to hold a frank discussion with you about our country”.
Minister Konneh further said there is infighting in the Sirleaf government, noting, refused to reimburse a certain cabinet Minister who refused to adhere to his instruction when he instructed the Minister to reduce his delegation to a two-man delegation because it was during the peak of the Ebola period and it made no sense to had carried such a huge team abroad considering the risk and economic realities the country was confronted with. The Minister said, that cabinet Minister did not take his instruction but opted to still take with him the fourteen man delegation and took on credit the cost of the delegation and upon their return, the Cabinet Minister requested reimbursement and I refuse to reimburse him because he did not follow his instruction and therefore the government is not obligated to reimburse him. “Today, that Cabinet Minister and I don’t see eye-to eye”, Minister Konneh told the town hall meeting.
A Liberian lawmaker, Representative Muna Pelham-Yumblood, a delegation of Minister Konneh’s town hall delegation of the opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change(CDC), scorned the Liberian Senate for not doing what she called “due diligence” in critiquing unqualified and mismatched appointees appointed by President Sirleaf.
The April 14th Rice Riot incident the Finance Minister is warning the Sirleaf administration of is the rice riot that broke out on April 14, 1979 when the opposition staged a demonstration to protest the increase in the price of rice. The demonstration turned violent when the Tolbert government decided to use brute force which led to deaths and injuries and is consider in Liberia the beginning of the country’s destruction.
Special Correspondent: Edwin Dennis- Part I