Liberia: 'Ivory Coast, Guinea or Ghana Not Using Our Money, So Where Is Our Money Gone?' - Traders' Wahala No Christmas Money

Monrovia — Christmas is around and ordinary Liberians are complaining "there is no money" in the country. Despite this, few places still have small crowds who are trading. Mechlin Street in Monrovia is one of those places where buyers, onlookers and thieves have gathered.

It seems the sellers are far more than the buyers. Sellers such as value boys, auction goods sellers, wheel barrow sellers and other petit traders have spread their goods on the motor roads and preventing vehicles, including kehkeh (tricycles) and motorbikes from plying.

No Money in Liberia

Florence Washington, a petit trader, who sells used book bags, is standing under the scorching sun while calling out to passersby to come and buy book bags for their kids. She sees no sign of anybody coming to ask nor to buy any; she reluctantly sits and wipes the sweat dripping down her face.

Out of frustration, she vented her anger on the government: "Just imagine school is about to open and parents are not even buying book bags for their children. At least during Ma Ellen time, when government employees used to take pay, we used to see it because money was everywhere, but now when government workers take pay we do not even feel anything because they can't get their own money from the banks or from the ATM machines, so where are we heading?" she asked.

"Therefore, let the government postpone the Christmas because we do not know where our money has gone. Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana are not using our money, so where is our money going? There is no US dollars in the banks and nothing is on the market, much to talk about the Liberian dollars, besides torn bank notes. So, let the government do something to improve the economy. I voted this government into power since 2005 and 2011."

She thinks the Liberian currency is not circulating but is only in the hands of one group of people, who are the big government ministers while the ordinary citizens are suffering.

"President [George] Weah has to stop listening to Samuel Tweah and Nathaniel McGill, because they keep lying to him and spoiling our government. Why should one group of people just be eating the country's money and we the common people who voted Weah into power for our lives to change be suffering?" She reminded the President that he had said during his inaugural address that Liberians won't be spectators in their own economy. She added sadly, "But we are more than spectators in our own economy. I am really disappointed in this government. I used to stand in the store and pay for three or four bails of dongar flag (used clothes) book bags, during Ma. Ellen time. But right now, I am at the bottom of poverty; I cannot even afford to buy one bail of cloth to sell," she said.

She added that President Weah promised to bring better changes instead he has changed the country from "worse to ridiculous."

"I want to tell Weah to change some people in his government. He told us players were on the bench to replace others, but it is over three years and we can't see those players. Sad to say, but Ma Ellen time, was far better than President George Oppong Weah administration. We used to receive our money from the bank and even when we used to be jammed and ask our friends to borrow, they used to do lend us money, but this time, everybody is crying because no money. No money in the banks and no money in the ATM machines, can you imagine?" she stated.

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