30 January 2018

Liberia: 'Our Economy Is Broken, Our Government Is Broke'

Photo: Boakai Fofana/allAfrica
Traders in Monrovia's largest market district of Waterside

Pres. Weah: "Our currency is in free fall, inflation is rising and... our foreign reserve is at an all-time low." (Above: Forex Bureaus around Monrovia show the exchange rate well above L$130/US$1. )

President George Manneh Weah, delivering his first Legislative agenda to the 54th Legislature in the Joint Chambers of the Capitol Building yesterday, disclosed that the country's economy is broken and by extension the government.

The former Senator informed the legislators that the state of the economy as inherited by his administration leaves a lot to be done and to be desired.

"This is plain to see for we are all affected by it: our economy is broken, our government is broke. Our currency is in free fall, inflation is rising and unemployment is at unprecedented high, and our foreign reserve is at an all-time low."

The economy

President Weah informed the joint session that during the transition period certain information was provided to his team with respect to both income and expenditure containing balances it said his government has now inherited and will carry forward; that the total revenue collected in the calendar year 2017 amounted to US$489.1 million, which he said is about a 13% decline over revenue collected in 2016, which was US$565.1 million.

"I cannot vouch for the accuracy or completeness of this information in the absence of verification by the full and proper audit conducted by a competent authority... this unusual situation is caused by the delays in the recent electoral process... reducing the transition period from three months to three weeks," President Weah asserted.

The economic situation, President Weah emphasized, is the challenge the country currently faces, "and in order to overcome these constraints and reverse these trends, we the Executive have to work in close collaboration with you the Legislature to help find a solution to these obstacles to our progress and development."

He promised to propose and introduce priority legislation during the course of this session of the Legislature for its consideration and approval that will be based on the four pillars of his government's platform delivery. According to him, the four pillars include: Power to the People; Economy and Jobs; Sustaining the Peace; and Governance and Transparency.

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