Weah’s Government Reports Largest Budget Shortfall in Liberia’s History

Dr. Joseph Nimene, Sr.|

Liberia’s Minister of Finance & Development, Planning Samuel Tweah

‘If Ellen left the Liberian economy in the toilet – let’s just say Weah came in and flushed the damn toilet.’

Key headlines:

Budget shortfall – USD$225 million or 7 percent of GDP

Inflation doubles – from 2017 and triples from 2016 to nearly 24%

Liberian Dollar – falls precipitously from 117.2 to 160 against the US Dollar

Personal Inward Remittances drops sharply by USD$101.9 million

The Weah-led government takes the public external debt stock to USD$987.8 million – up 18% or a whopping 30% of GDP.

Liberia has more diamonds, gold, iron ore, and rubber than most sub-Saharan African countries and more poverty than 70 percent of all African countries. Under President Weah, Liberia has fallen three notches on the Human Development Index and show no signs of recovering.

Once one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, Liberia is now plagued with extreme poverty, a failing education system, poor healthcare and according to the World Food Programme, nearly 51 percent of the population is food insecure, and 83 percent live on less than US$1.25 a day.

With iron ore prices showing an overall decline of 4.29 percent in 2018, the economic management team at the Ministry of Finance Development Planning under Samuel Tweah is scrambling for answers.

Facing fierce criticism at home and abroad, President George Weah stated in his Annual Message that he took an oath before the people of Liberia and God to revitalize the Liberian economy, rebuild the infrastructures and ensure respect for the rule of law.

Weah went on to say, “I must be honest to admit that during the year 2018, our democracy, society, and economy were tested but our leadership rose above these challenges.”

President Weah added, “We stabilized our economy, protected the fundamental rights of our citizens and preserved our peace.” Reports from various Government of Liberia sources captured by Globe Afrique shows the social experiment of electing a playboy footballer turned politician George Weah has been exposed in one of the country’s worst economic performance since the end of Liberia’s civil wars. And President Weah (or his speech writer) Annual Message was deceptive in portraying the economy and state of affairs in Liberia as being robust and meeting the challenges.

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About Cholo Brooks 10607 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.