News / Africa

Liberian Lawmakers Demand Answers on Foreign Lobbying Fees

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf disputes claims of a member of parliament regarding amounts paid to U.S. lobbying firms.
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf disputes claims of a member of parliament regarding amounts paid to U.S. lobbying firms.
James Butty
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has denied allegations that her government spent more than $200 million in lobbying fees to foreign firms in the United States.

In a letter to the plenary of the Liberian House of Representatives, Sirleaf said it is “preposterous” for anyone to believe that her government could spend such an amount.

She said only the US firm KRL lobbied on behalf of Liberia from 2007 to 2013 and was paid a total of a little over $368,000. 

But Representative Bhofal Chambers of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, who has called for an official inquiry, said Sirleaf and her government should cooperate fully.

Citing a U.S. State Department report, Chambers said that from 2006 to 2009, 102 lobby payments were tracked by foreign lobby trackers, amounting to an alleged $263 million
                   
“I think the communication from the President, if she says from 2007, now she has not looked at 2006, which we discovered to be the amount of $19 million.  Let’s say $19.7 million that was spent for 2009 for lobbying and public relations,” he said.

Chambers listed a host of other companies, which he said were paid huge sums for lobbying for Liberia.
 
“She said 2007," Chambers said. "She said KRL. Okay, let’s look at 2007 from the documents we have. We have JWI, one group that did public relationship work for (Monrovia), and the amount spent was $31, 933.38.  The next one is LISCR (the Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry) for lobbying. It’s $6.5 million.  So, we want the president to come forth and tell us what she knows,” he said.  
 
He said the legislature is concerned about the alleged large sums of money being spent for lobbying abroad, while the country has nothing to show for the money spent.
                   
“We have gross deficits in Liberia in terms of infrastructure at home, in terms of employment, in terms of welfare. There are so many gaps and our people cannot afford,” Chambers said.

Yet, said Chambers, Sirleaf appears to be the most popular leader in the world.

“Internationally, we hear so many good things about our president, and this president of ours has got more accolades than the Pope, has got more accolades than the President of United States, than Russia’s leader, and the great leader of Germany, Angela Merkel.

"And yet, there is nothing that we can show for," Chambers says, "to say that because this amount was spent, this is what we are seeing in Liberia. So, that is why we are concerned.  

"When so much is alleged to be spent for these kinds of exercises, what is the value of the money?” Chambers said.

Butty interview with Chambers
Butty interview with Chambersi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: siaffa zoeluma from: Monrovia
March 21, 2014 2:16 AM
You who get ears to hear lets u hear and you get eyes to see lets you see. This too is liberia

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid