Liberia: “Liberia Is Actually Broke,” Says House Speaker After Hearing From Central Bank

Contrary to conflicting statements by incumbent President George M. Weah and former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on the state of the Country’s economy, the House of Representatives has confirmed that Liberia is actually broke.

Lawmakers Listening To Address
Some Liberian Lawmakers At Capitol Building

House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, after hours of closed-door session disclosed that after listening to Central Bank of Liberia’s Governor, Milton Weeks and the Ministry of Finance, Development Planning, it was confirmed that the country is broke as was previously stated by President George M. Weah in his annual address.

According to information gathered from sources at the Capitol Building, the seat of the country’s Legislature, members of the House of Representatives are believed to be hiding some basic information from the public which has the propensity of creating doubts in the minds of the people that elected them as their representatives.

Our sources at the House of Representatives said the CBL disclosed that the funds that the former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf spoke of, in the country’s reserve account, is over US$300 million but can be used  after a specific period of time; the time which is yet to be specified.

Political observers are saying if those lawmakers are concealing public information from the citizens of Liberia then they are afraid that Liberians will continue to live below the poverty line because of the lawmakers’ inability to tell them the current state of the nation’s economy.

City Map of Liberia
City Map of Liberia

After hours of a closed-door session on Thursday, the issue of releasing the proper information as to whether the country’s economy is actually broken, as President Weah said, was not clear thereby leaving doubts on the minds of many.

In President George Weah’s first State of the Nation address, he informed the citizens that the West African country’s economy is broken and that the country is broke. But contrary to his statement, former President Sirleaf, in an interview on the BBC, claimed that she left more than US$400 million in the nation’s treasury; something that has caused serious concern among the populace.

The two conflicting statements by President George M. Weah that Liberia’s treasury is empty and the government is broke and former President Sirleaf’s revelation caused the lawmakers to invite the three public financial institutions to give a clear picture of the state of the nation’s economy.

In his testimony in the Chamber of the House Thursday,  Central Bank Governor Weeks said as of January 22, 2018 the bank has  over US$5 million and the amount of over L$500 million.

Also speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Development Planning, the Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Samora Wolokollie disclosed that when the CDC-led Government took over, the country had over US$11 million and L$600 million respectively which summed up to US$ 16 million.

Former Liberian President Ellen-Johnson-Sirleaf-MS
Former Liberian President Ellen-Johnson-Sirleaf

Our correspondent in the Liberian capital reports that the baffling question is who is really telling the truth on the state of the nation’s financial standing; as President Weah has said that the nation is seriously broke while former President Sirleaf has claimed that the country is not broke?

Meantime, some Liberian social media posters are heavily criticizing the former Liberian President Johnson-Sirleaf and asking the current administration to conduct an audit of her government.

By Lincoln Barcon in Monrovia

West African Journal Magazine