Liberia: House Summons CBL Over U.S.$40 Million Balance

-over GOL’s bank balances

The House of Representatives has summoned the Central Bank of Liberia to provide clarity over the accuracy and consistency of the Government of Liberia’s net international reserves and government’s consolidated account balances as of December 31, 2023; January 19, 2024, and January 24, 2024, respectively.

The summon followed a communication from Margibi County District #2 Representative Ivar K. Jones and Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon W. Seboe.

According to Rep. Jones, his communication is induced by former President George Mannah Weah’s last address to the nation on January 21, 2024, in which the Ex-President announced that he was handing over to the next administration a net international reserve of Two Hundred Twenty-Two Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States dollars.

Mr. Weah said total cash balance in the Government’s Consolidated Accounts is United States Dollars Forty Million, Forty-Four Thousand, Three Hundred Sixty-Five Dollars, and Ninety Cents.

But Representative Jones notes that the former President’s statement is not being concurred with by his successor, President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

In his first State of the Nation Address on January 29, 2024, President Boakai said, the net international reserves position reported at the end of December 2023 was US$220 million, and the report of US$40 million as the GoL’s consolidated account balance as at January 19, 2024, is not supported by the fact, and that the balance reported by the CBL as of the same date was US$20.5 million, highly encumbered, not US$40 million.

He stresses that it is the Fundamental Rights of the Public to be informed about the Government and its functionaries as enshrined in Article 15 (c) of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

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“In pursuance of the right, there shall be no limitation on the public right to be informed, and as such the information should be accurate and consistent. In the above-mentioned case, there is inaccuracy and inconsistency”, the lawmaker notes.

Also speaking, Rep. Dixon W. Seboe said there is need to check in the consolidated account to ascertain the facts surrounding the circumstances.

He recalls that when former President Weah took power in 2018 the amount of money he met and the amount announced when he was leaving are far better so it is good to know who’s telling the truth.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted that authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia be invited before full plenary this Thursday, February 1, 2024, to provide clarity on the matter. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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