22 May 2019

Liberia: Senate Invites CBL, EMT to Address Rising FX Rate, GAC Audit Report

... Other report contains aliens illegally mining in Southeast counties

The Senate on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, voted to mandate its committees on Ways, Means and Finance, and Banking and Currency to invite the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and members of the Economic Management Team (EMT) to appear before it to address the status of the economy.

According to a motion filed by Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay, the CBL Governor and the EMT will firstly address reasons for the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the United States dollar, which a communication from Senator George Tengbeh (Lofa County), described as a "serious impediment to the ordinary citizens."

Sen. Tengbeh's communication to Senate plenary is also requesting that the two financial bodies speak on the status of the economy; and the increase of the foreign exchange rate, which he noted, "is bringing increased suffering to us."

"I beg your indulgence, distinguished colleagues, to please request the CBL Governor Nathaniel Patray and other members of the EMT to appear before plenary on Thursday, May 23, 2019, to tell us as to what mechanisms they are putting in place to arrest the situation," Tengbeh communication added.

In a motion to amend the motion proffered by Sen. Teahjay, Maryland County Senator J. Gbleh-bo Brown, requested that the work of both committees should also include a report from the CBL and the TEMT on the audit reports conducted by the international firm and the government team appointed by President George Weah to probe the alleged missing L$16 billion and the US$25 Million mop-up exercise.

CBL Governor Patray and the Minister of Finance and Development Planning-headed the TEMT. They are expected to appear before the two Senate committees next Thursday in committee rooms.

Influx of aliens reported in Southeast

In a related development, Sen. Teahjay has informed Senate plenary that thousands of Ghanaians and other West African nationals have invaded the forests of River Cess, Sinoe, and Grand Kru counties, pillaging the forest as well illegally mining minerals.

In his communication dated May 16, 2019, Sen. Teahjay said besides the marauding Ghanaians, there are unprecedented mining activities currently taking place in the Southeast.

According to him, those issued license 'C' by the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy are now either using License 'A' or 'B' mining activities, which include the use of dredges in those three counties.

"In this light, I crave the plenary of the Senate to cite the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy to explain why those to whom the Ministry has issued class 'C' licenses, are performing mining activities of class 'A' and 'B' licenses without effective institutional monitoring mechanisms in place at the Ministry of Mines and Energy."


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