MONROVIA, Montserrado – Sinoe’s second district representative, Jay Nagbe Sloh, has called on President George Weah to address the nation on the country’s economy.
Sloh, a member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, addressed reporters at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia on Thursday. He said it was important for the president to speak to the nation on the current economic situation and provide a clear picture of the reasons for the continuous decline in the economy.
He also wants the president to provide reassurance of his administration’s efforts and commitment to address the economic challenges.
“Mr. President, as our leader, these are testing times for you personally and for the country, you lead. I sincerely believe that you are capable to give us a sense of direction in times likes these so please do it,” he said.
The lawmaker wants Weah to clearly state whether all is politically and economically well with the country, and if not, state his vision for getting the country back on course. He also called on the president respond to allegations of diverting donor funds to areas not intended for.
Recently, the heads of nine diplomatic missions, representing the European Union, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the U.K., and the United States addressed a letter to the government, on the abuse and usage of donor accounts at the Central Bank which was not agreed upon.
The diplomats said the coordinated letter was being sent because they discovered “a greater scale of irregular withdrawals than was previously and collectively known.”
In a press conference on Thursday, Information Minister Eugene Nagbe confirmed the existence of the letter, noting that the practice was nothing new, as it had been done by the previous government.
The Sinoe lawmaker also requested the president to speak on the US$25 million liquidity mop-up exercise and announce the government’s decision on the recommendations from the two separate investigations conducted into the use of the amount and the alleged L$16 billion missing banknotes.
“Pres. Weah’s prolonged silence on major issues ongoing in the country in the wake of this crisis will complicate the situation and scare away potential investors and donors,” he said.
Previously, the U.N. office in Liberia had threatened to redirect support if the Weah’s government fails to address challenges in making timely and accurate reports for funding support it receives from U.N. agencies.
The U.N. disclosed in a letter to the government that several agencies have had challenges in getting timely and accurate reports from the government. It said the situation has delayed the implementation of essential services and advisory support to the people of Liberia, which may lead to the withholding of funding by partners for U.N. programs in the country.
Amid an increasing exchange rate and resulting high inflation, Weah delivered a major speech to the nation in July 2018 on measures his government had taken to address the state of the economy.
Among a series of other measures to remedy hardships on citizens as a result of the declining economy, Weah announced an immediate infusion of US$25 million into the economy to mop up the excess liquidity of Liberian dollars.
The government’s recent investigation into the use of the fund created skepticism over the impact of the mop-up exercise. The investigation established that the teams set up to carry out the exercise had no standard criteria for determining legitimate businesses, such as through licenses and legal registrations. The report said the process also created room for illicit exchange or money laundering.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah