–Says Liberia is headed in the rightful direction
The Government of Liberia has boasted of its success in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard, stating that the country is headed in the right direction.
Liberia’s Information Minister Mr. Ledgerhood Julius Rennie addressed a press conference in Monrovia Wednesday, 8 November 2023, roughly a day after the MCC released its scorecard.
Minister Rennie said the scorecard plays an important role in the competitive selection process to determine which countries are eligible to establish a five-year grant agreement known as a compact.
Liberia jumped two places on the MCC scorecard for Fiscal Year 2024, passing 14 out of 20 indicators, according to the MCC official website, compared to 12 out of 20 for FY 2023 indicators.
For the first time since 2007, Liberia recorded a pass in the Fiscal Policy indicator. The country recorded similar feat in 2022, when it passed the Rule of Law indicator for the first time.
This is the second time Liberia has successively passed the MCC scorecard after failing to obtain a passing mark in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 under President George Manneh Weah’s administration.
According to Minister Rennie, Liberia is considered to have passed the scorecard when it fulfills at least 10 of the 20 indicators.
They include the Control of Corruption indicator and either the Civil Liberties or Political Rights indicator.
Minister Rennie indicated that the recognition is a milestone achievement that has brought an end to the bad direction that the country was headed.
“Just the fact that Liberia is admitted to the MCC Scorecard program tells the commitment of the President and his leadership to ensure that he brings meaningful development and life-changing systems to the people of Liberia,” he stated.
The Minister disclosed that over the last five years, there have been talks about President Weah’s inability to govern the country, saying that the international achievement of the country has proven his critics wrong.
The Information Minister further explained that the scorecard has thrashed the assessment that President Weah is leading the country in the wrong direction.
He argued that the scorecard has proved that President Weah is capable of leading the country positively.
For his part, Liberia’s Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah said the MCC scorecard will dehumanize propaganda in the country.
The Minister said that the MCC scorecard showed President Weah’s commitment to fiscal policy discipline, and microeconomic prudence, among others.
Mr. Tweah noted that since Liberia was founded, it has never passed fourteen marks on the MCC scorecard, indicating that President Weah is the first president to reach such a mark.
“We have passed the fiscal policy four times, since 2007. The last pass was in 2014. Since 2014, we have never passed. Before 2014, we passed 2007, 2008, and 2009 in fiscal policy,” Minister Tweah revealed.
He detailed that out of the twenty indicators, Liberia passed fourteen.
Minister Tweah named the indicators as Fiscal Policy, Inflation, Trade Policy, Gender in the Economy, Land Rights and Access, Access to Credit, Employment Opportunity, and Political Rights.
He further named them as Civil Liberties, Control of Corruption, Rule of Law, Freedom of Information, Health Expenditures, and Immunization Rates.
Minister Tweah explained that the MCC Board of Directors selects countries as eligible for MCC assistance that demonstrate a commitment to just and democratic governance, investing in people, and economic freedom, using the four-step process.
To be a candidate for MCC assistance, he said countries must be classified as either lower-middle-income [by] the World Bank, and not be prohibited from receiving assistance by federal law.
He said only candidate countries may be selected as eligible to develop a compact or threshold program.