Legislature Resumes 4th Session

-As Speaker Chambers Calls On Members To Work In the Interest Of Liberians

By Mark N. Mengonfia-mmenginfia@gmail.com

Members of the 54th Legislature have resumed legislative works on Capitol Hill as House Speaker Bhofal Chambers described 2020 as an “Annus Horribilis”, meaning it was complementary to the wonderful year.

The resumption of legislative session is in consonance with Article 32(a) of the Liberian Constitution, which states, “The Legislature shall assemble in Regular Session once a year, on the Second Working Monday in January”.

Speakers Chambers in his opening statement in the Chambers of the House of Representatives said “As 2020 has ended, it should be our collective prayer that all the adversities, challenges, distractions and harsh political attitudes to extremes end with it, and that 2021 should bring lasting peace, success and harmony.”

The Maryland County lawmaker told his colleagues that the year 2020 experienced severe shocks, ranging from politics, the economy to health. In terms of politics, he said, “we saw a polarized field; the economy, the paucity of the Liberian Dollar or Currency was pronounced, especially at the advent of and during the festive season; for health, the COVID-19 Pandemic created serious panic amongst the population, thereby rendering our people vulnerable and stagnating the economy.”

He said scarcity or shortage of Liberian Dollars or currency in circulation was alarming. However, the Speaker said workable solutions are within reach; adding “It is obvious that, reasonably, money in sizeable quantity should still be available for fluid transactional purposes.”

Reaching outside of Liberia for an example, Speaker Chambers said “In the United States, in 1933, according to Investopedia, owning more than US$100 worth of gold bullion, coins, or certificates became a criminal act called hoarding. Also, hoarding in gold bullion became illegal again in the U.S. in 1974.”

Speaking additionally, Speaker Chambers said the measures instituted by the United States in 1933 and 1974 are worth copying adding, “Those examples can create sound conditions of action-oriented frameworks, knowing that hoarding, whether hoarding of commodities or hoarding of currency, can cause tragedies and spark up painful economic instability. It can create a cycle of speculation, inflation and self-fulfilling prophecies.”

The Liberian Speaker indicated that there is a compelling need to institute serious action-oriented frameworks or laws to address what he calls  the evil network of hoarding setting an example on  Mr. Yasuo Hamanaka of Sumitomo Corporation of Japan who was  imprisoned for seven years in the 1990s for hoarding that led to US$2.6 billion in losses in the Copper Market.

The Speaker tracked back and provided records of legislative function performed during the third year of their sitting.

He said during the period, regular session 69, Special Sessions 47, Appearances of Ministers/ Directors 20 totaling Sessions/ Appearances to 138.

He went on to inform his colleagues that total number of   bills introduced in the House is 50, bills passed is 29, Number of Executive Bills Passed 19, Number of Senate Bill Concurred with is 1, Number of House Bills Passed, 4.

Other Legislative actions taken during the third sitting include two house joint resolution passed, number of certificate extension passed, 2, number of simple resolution passed, 1.

The Speaker went on to say “Total number of Bills in Committee Room,  21, Number of House Bills in Committee Room, 7, Number of Senate Bills in Committee Room, 5, Number of Executive Bills in Committee Room, 3,  Number of Petitions in Committee Room,  4, Number of President’s Communications,   2.”

Speaker Chambers went on to tell his colleagues that

“We should now collectively work in re-setting the Nation’s economic agenda. Some of those steps to pursue will include: Revisiting some of the concession agreements. Optimizing gains from the various sectors. Preparing or enacting laws in line with best practice. Working with various institutions and nations to copy experiences for positive economic gains. ”


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