…Over US$480M Loss At CBL
By A. Omaska Jallah
The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has raised serious concern over recent report that US$480million was allegedly trafficked out of Liberia during former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s tenure.
The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has indicated that the huge amount was trafficked from the country into foreign banks by individuals in government.
Mr. Milton Weeks, CBL governor, said for the 12 month period in 2017, the trend of personal remittances shows 70.9 percent decline in net inward personal remittances which the bank says is largely driven by substantial increase in outward personal remittances.
Governor Weeks further told a local station recently that despite challenges, the economy is on the path of a rebound.
He said the exchange rate and inflationary pressures persist in the wake of the elections uncertainties.
He said there is continuous high demand for Forex (foreign exchange) to facilitate imports, infrastructural challenges, and other external factors, especially continued low trending in global commodity prices.
“The CBL will continue its periodic intervention in the Forex market on a regular basis to enhance market predictability and help to meet the Forex demand of importers and smaller Liberian businesses, despite the meager resources the Bank has at its disposal,” Weeks added.
But addressing a joint development partners meeting held at the Pan African Plaza (PAP), the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General to Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo said alarm over the depleting coffers is a great loss to the country and the people, considering the economic situation of the country.
He told the Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweh that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government needs to do something about the fight against corruption.
The meeting, which was attended by development partners of Liberia including the World Bank, African Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Union, UNMIL and other partners, was intended to discuss the government‘s development agenda.
During the meeting, the World Bank representative to Liberia, Larisa Leshchenko said it was important for partners, especially the World Bank to know the government’s priority relative to the growth and development of the country.
Madam Leshchenko, who sounded optimistic about the World Bank’s relentless support to Liberia, told the gathering that the Bank is ready to invest in the development of Liberia.
At the same time, the African Union (AU) also raised concern about lip service in the agriculture sector.
Also addressing the forum, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweh, pleaded with partners not to disagree in working with the government in achieving its pro-poor agenda.
Tweh said fiscal decentralization is something the government is working on to impact the counties.
He said the government will improve micro economic performance to impact the counties in the next six years.