Liberia: 'I Am the Right Man At the Right Time for the Job'

CBL Governor-designate proclaims at confirmation hearing, as his outdated resumé causes stir

Although Mr. J. Aloysius Tarlue, Executive Governor-designate of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), informed the Senate committee on Banking and Currency that he is the right man at the right time to clean the weaknesses and discrepancies detected by the Kroll and PIT reports, as well as the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) assessment at the CBL, his confirmation hearing was marred by discrepancies of information in the nominee's Curriculum vitae (CV or resumé).

On Thursday, December 5, Tarlue told the packed Senate Chambers on Capitol Hill that monetary policies are not necessarily in short supply at the CBL and, therefore, "I submit that the key challenge that continues to undermine the monetary policy implementation is the lack of effective enforcement of regulation, and that compliance measure comes in place."

"Investigative reports issued by the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT), the USAID-Kroll report, and the IMF assessment... all show variances of discrepancies and weaknesses in the system; these are the current realities," nominee Tarlue said, adding that the weaknesses call for someone to come and clean the house."

"And I am the right man at the right time for the job," he declared.

Mr. Tarlue, whose resumé shows that he worked at some of the top banking institutions in the United States and Germany, told the hearing Committee chaired by Sen. Marshall Dennis that his vision for the CBL is an independent, non-partisan Central Bank, "a Central Bank that is in line with the tradition of a Central Bank, non-interference in our activities."

Tarlue assured the hearing Committee that he is here for a good purpose, and not to undermine the democracy the country is currently enjoying.

CBL Headquarters in Monrovia

According to him, the issue of printing money is "fundamental" to the banking sector, but it is necessary to ensure that "the conditions are in place so that the public will not have doubts in what you are doing, and that is where I come in."

Tarlue observed the lack of soundness in the bank supervision area, "and we make it optimized. Under my leadership, the main objective of the Central Bank will be to regain and maintain price stability on the market." To put value into the Liberian dollar, Tarlue said, the CBL has instituted a new monetary policy, from an exchange rate policy to an interest rate policy by placing 30% interest rate on savings.

CV in need of update?

However, when it came to question and answer period, Mr. Tarlue, who currently serves as chairman of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Committee (LERC), made what appeared to be contradictory statements, when he was asked what form of identity he used for the 17 years, when he worked at the various foreign banks.

"I used Resident Permit status," he said.

A Resident Permit or Permanent Resident card, or "green card," is a plastic card with the individual's biographic information, photo, fingerprint, and expiration date issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It authorizes the green card holder the right to live and work in the United States.

On another question of Mr. Tarlue's date of birth, it was observed and displayed on his National Identification card that he was born on May 12, 1962; but on his CV and a police clearance he obtained, showed a date of birth as 1952.

"I will say it is an error that can be corrected."

On his professional experience, Maryland County Senator J. Gbleh-bo Brown, who was cross-examining the nominee, observed that on his CV, he stated that he worked at Merrill Lynch from 2004 to 2007; but on the same page, showed that he worked at HSBC at the same period, 2004 to 2007.

HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company... The origins of the bank lie mainly in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent in Shanghai, China, where branches were first opened in 1865. The HSBC name is derived from the initials of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

"Honorable Senator, if that is the case on the CV, then it will be corrected," Tarlue said.

On the same CV, Senator Brown also observed that from March 2013 to present, he is worked for JP Morgan Chase. Again Mr. Tarlue answered yes, but informed the Senate that he has not updated his CV, but indicated that that job actually ended in 2018.

Mr. Tarlue also failed to mention his current job as chair of the LERC on his CV.

Asked whether he was scrutinized, and vetted for the job as promised by President George Weah during a nationwide address, Mr. Tarlue answered; "I believe I was, I was vetted and spoken to earlier."

"That is what I wanted to know, because the process would have determined what we do, if we were not sure that you were vetted by the Executive, then it places a greater responsibility on this committee to do enough vetting, which in my view in this short time, we cannot do... ," Senator Brown said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tarlue has informed the Committee that he is not married, but has a relationship that is blessed with two girls. Our report continues.

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