Stakeholders who attended a two-day validation conference on Liberia’s new Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy have endorsed the new system that seeks to improve the country’s economic and budgetary performance and is expected to kick off in 2017 and end in 2020.The new strategy, which comes as a result of the current strategy that ended in June this year, will have an internal audit agency, unlike its predecessor.The conference was held from December 16-17, and was organized by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.Tanneh Geraldine Brunson, Deputy Minister for Budget at the Ministry of Finance, said improving budget credibility and comprehensiveness by strengthening the institutional capacities for preparing medium-term revenue and expenditure will bring all donor financing into the budget without hindrance.“Today, as we validate this new strategy that covers the next four years, it is very important that we re-emphasize these areas, some in which significant improvements have been made, but still needs to be addressed,” said Minister Brunson, who spoke on behalf of MFDP Minister Boima Kamara. According to her, there continues to be clear challenges to sustaining domestic resource generation in the country; however, she was quick to clarify that these challenges are not unique to Liberia. She named narrow tax base and a huge informal sector, lack of transparency which inhibits citizens’ willingness to comply with tax laws, as some of the challenges. Others are Illicit flows, tax havens, and transfer prices which circumvent the normal taxation process, as some of the obstacles in the sector.“We therefore need to build capacities of relevant stakeholder institutions, not only to mobilize domestic resources but also using them effectively and efficiently by enforcing tax payment compliance, reviewing tax relief policies, enhancing revenue collection through provision of proper tax information and education,” she suggested.Deputy Minister Brunson called on stakeholders to expand their tax base instead of raising tax rates.Minister Brunson also called for the enhancement of public investment management by integrating externally financed projects with the domestically financed public sector investment projects on a common platform. Emmanuel Togba, head of Public Financial Management Unit at MFDP, said the new law will also have county treasuries that would handle every financial matter in their respective localities.According to him, most of the PFM institutions collapsed, their systems failed, and human capacity deteriorated, culminating at a situation in which there was near complete absence of procedures in the application of public resources. “With assistance from our development partners,” he said, “the government enacted the PFM Act in 2009 to strengthen greater transparency and accountability around public resources.”The new strategy, he added, will guide the country for the next four years and, during the period, treasuries in the various counties, for example, will have their own procurement offices.Meanwhile, the conference was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Justice, General Auditing Commission, Governance Commission, Civil Service Agency, as well as development partners, namely the World Bank, IMF, USAID, EU, SIDA, and AFDB, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“It has been my dream to play in the La Liga and it had been my dream since I arrived in Europe that in three years time I would be rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world and here I have the opportunity. It is a great feeling to be honest,” Olunga said just after arriving at the club.“I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey and in this new challenge, I will not disappoint,” Olunga, who joined the club on loan from Chinese Super League side Ghuizhou Zhicheng added.Olunga made a dream start to life in the Catalonia-based club, coming off the bench to hit a brace as they whitewashed CF Ripoll 8-0 in a friendly match on Monday night and he now hopes he can replicate that same form in the league.“It was a great opportunity to start life at the club and now I believe I have my work cut out. Scoring a brace just made it sweeter. The biggest challenge now is to replicate that form in the league and my dream is to become the first Kenyan to score in La Liga,” Olunga added.Michael Olunga signed for La Liga top tier side Girona on loan from from Chinese Super League side Ghuizhou Zhicheng. PHOTO/courtesyThe former Gor Mahia, Tusker and Thika United striker becomes only the second Kenyan to play in Spain with MacDonald Mariga having spent a brief loan spell at Real Sociedad in the 2011/2012 season, playing 14 matches.Olunga dreams of bettering that feat and making a mark with the club which unsuccessfully tried to sign him in 2015 before he left for China where he signed for Guizhou Zhicheng.“It is my dream to make a huge mark here. This is a bigger platform with a bigger opportunity and I really pray I achieve it,” added the forward.A proven goal scorer, Olunga has hit 14 goals in 27 appearances for the national team while he scored 13 in 28 games in all competition for his first club abroad, Djugardens IF in the Swedish top tier.He didn’t have a smoother time in China with Zhicheng where he only scored two goals in nine games and had to be loaned out after the club exceeded their quota of foreign players and he had to be the sacrificial lamb.Girona announced during the player’s unveiling over the weekend they badly wanted to sign him from Djugardens before he left for China since he perfectly fitted the description of the striker they are looking for.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Michael Olunga in action for his new club Girona during their friendly match against CF Ripoll winning 8-0. Photo/CourtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6- Sergio Ramos, Javier Mascherano, Diego Godin and former Arsenal center-back Gabriel Paulista are some of the world class defenders Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga will be tussling with for the next one season as he begins life with new club Girona.Olunga is expected to make his competitive debut for the Blanquivermell on Sunday when they travel away to San Mames to take on Athletic Bilbao in their third La Liga match of the season.