Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor, Nathaniel Patray, has outlined challenges confronting the economy of Liberia, ranging from low inflow of donors’ support to growth in borrowed money.
Patray said the inadequate production of basic consumables in Liberia and the paying of fees and services in foreign currency, limited market access, import of basic commodities and borrowing money from the Central Bank without paying is also a problem.
“The level of non-performing loan is because of inability to pay back the money to the bank is a serious challenge,” Patray said.
Speaking at the National Economic Dialogue held at the Ministerial Complex in the Monrovia suburb of Congo Town recently, Patray attributed the vulnerability of the Liberian economy to the drastic decline in economic activities, the effects of the Ebola crises and the global commodity price slump as well as the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
According to the Central Bank Executive Governor, productivity has been low in the area of agriculture and the manufacturing industry which,, he noted, is less than 3.0% growth from 2006-2014.
Patray emphasized that, the current pressure on the domestic currency is accentuated by the departure of UNMIL.
According to statistics, the UN Mission infused nearly US$50 million annually for the nearly 14 years it operated in the country.
Meanwhile, Patray has lauded international partners for their goodwill in stimulating capital inflows, adding that UNMIL’s contribution to the Liberian economy had lot of impact on the stability of the financial sector.
The Central Bank top official applauded GT Bank, LBDI, ECOBank, and International Bank (IB), noting that “they are doing well,” and also expressed gratitude to UNDP, USAID, EU, and ECOWAS for supporting the dialogue.
Patray assured that the Central Bank of Liberia remains committed to supporting the Pro-Poor Agenda of the government.
According to him, Central Bank is currently in the process of revisiting the existing Act that created the institution to strengthen its operational goals and independence, including governance.
He emphasized that the bank has developed a new monetary policy framework to operationalize its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), adding that, the new monetary framework also seeks to give greater attention to the use of the Liberian dollar.
He said the CBL is also working towards full digitization of the financial system in order to enhance the provision of inclusive financial services.
According to Patray, the bank is also strengthening its data to enhance the conduct of empirical analysis and provide evidence-based policy advice.