By Leroy M. Sonpon, III
President George Manneh Weah
What might he say?
At about 4:00 p.m. today, while standing, President George M. Weah will deliver his 4th annual address (also known as the State of the Nation Address) in front of the two Houses — the 1st Joint Session of the 4th Session of the 54th Legislature — giving his view on the state of the nation and his legislative goals for the year.
Chapter VI Section 58 of the Liberian Constitution states that the President “shall on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.”
What is the State of Nation Address (SONA)?
Many pundits believe that the President’s speeches are as retractable as failed New Year’s resolutions, but others believe the President’s legislative reports are proven, owing to several infrastructure developments.
Today’s occasion will witness a convergence of all the heads of the three branches of government, including governmental agencies well as dignitaries, civil society organizations, heads of political parties, heads of religious organizations, members of the Diplomatic corps, traditional leaders and senior citizens.
One cannot predict or preempt what, and how the administrative program of the government would be in exact terms, but what is certain is that today’s presentation shall contain the outline for the need of printing new money in the amount of L$27.5 billion, probably with new family features, to help in the restoration of the economy.
The President might also discuss the government’s COVID-19 stimulus food distribution which, according to the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), the is very slow. IREDD is recommending to the World Food Program (WFP) to decentralize the food package distribution or deploy more people in the field to increase the pace of the food distribution.
The President will also announce his county tour which, according to sources, will commence in February. Is uncertain wWhether the President will respond to critics regarding his musical releases, of which he had on his records, four songs under three years since he became President.
The President’s songs include COVID 19, Ms. Earth, Mr. Liar Man, and Happy Birthday.
It is furthered expected that the President might give account of monies received either in the form of grants as budget support or loans for government targeted projects. The President’s message to the Legislature shall also cover specifics in expenditures of the administration and speak to debts either inherited and or incurred in the discharge of duty during the year under review.
He shall also advance suggestions to the lawmakers in the presence of foreign Diplomats from friendly nations and multinational corporations. He shall also speak to how he had hoped to see his government proceed in dealing with the issue of national security, education policy, defense policy, etc.
The President might also delve into how his administration intends to handle the issue of civil servants’ pay, job creation, foreign aid, how to attract foreign direct investment, revenue growth or decline, etc.
The President could also use the platform to appeal for assistance from Liberia’s international partners for the scrupulous enhancement of peace and nonviolent political and economic interaction, thereby pledging the availability of a cordial business environment that will promote genuine peace that will ensure more job creation for Liberia’s youthful population.
The President’s appearance before members of the 54th Legislature today comes following the country’s midterm Senatorial election, two by-elections and the national referendum.
The two by-elections are a result of the dail that the President had lost two of his partisan Lawmakers which has created a vacancy Hon. Munah Pelham Youngblood of Montserrado County electoral district # 9 and Hon. Jay Nagbe Sloh of Sinoe County electoral district # 2.