Despite query from the Ministry of Justice observing that recent report from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the US$25 million Mop-up exercise unearthing what is believed to be an systemic weaknesses and flaws at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) which is yet to be addressed by the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Mr. Nathaniel R. Patry, III, has tenured in his resignation to the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah.
According to the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean the description of discrepancies, variances and delays in posting financial transactions, contained in the GAC’s Report, points to systemic weaknesses at the CBL under the watchful eyes of the now resigned Governor of the CBL.
The comments from the Justice Minister were in response to the Auditor General’s Report of Factual Findings on the US$25 million Mop-up exercise conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia.
Dean emphasized that the GAC report, like the Kroll and the Presidential Investigation Team’s (PIT) Reports, reveals entrenched, systemic flaws at the CBL over the years.
On July 16, 2018, the President, Dr. George Manneh Weah addressed the nation on the state of the economy and announced an immediate infusion by the Central Bank of Liberia of the amount of US$25 million into the economy to mop-up excess liquidity of Liberian dollar on the market.
Following the President’s announcement, the CBL under the mandate of the Technical Economic Management Team carried out the mop-up during the period of July 17 to October 30, 2018.
However, a report from the PIT following the mop-up exercise shows that the amount of US$15 million was used for direct mop-up of excess Liberian dollar from large importers, small businesses and foreign exchange bureaus, while the amount of US$2 million was auctioned to TOTAL Liberia Inc.
PIT recommended a further forensic investigation into how the US$25 million was infused into the economy.
As suggested by PIT, President Weah requested the GAC to conduct an investigative audit into the US$25 million earmarked for the mop-up exercise through the Minister of Justice /Attorney General.
In its factual findings released recently, the GAC cited that out of the US$25 million authorized by the president, only US$17 million was used during the mop-up campaign.
Multiple sections of the report subsequently pointed to discrepancies and variances in the accounting records of the mop-up.
But, Justice Minister Dean stated in the Ministry of Justice response on the audit that the variances and discrepancies placed the burden of proof on the CBL to explain the inconsistencies or to establish whether or not the charges from the GAC were factual.
He said consistent with the GAC factual finding, L$2.6 billion, which constitutes US$17 million, was actually brought to the vault, something which indicates that “No money is missing in the US$25 million mop-up exercise.
Amidst public outcry and calls for the government to take action based upon findings from the GAC, Dean has, meanwhile, informed the public that the Ministry of Justice has made specific recommendations to President Weah as regards the report, citing that the President will shortly address the nation on the matter.
With all of these unanswered financial issues by the resigned Governor of the CBL, the Liberian President Dr. George Manneh Weah, has accepted the resignation of Governor who resigned on October 24, 2019.
Mr. Patray’s resignation followed President Weah’s recent pronouncement that he would restructure the Central Bank of Liberia towards tackling the Country’s economic challenges.
President Weah profoundly thanked Mr. Patray for his services to the Government and people of Liberia. He said Mr. Patray’s acceptance to serve as a Governor during the challenging times was remarkable. He wished the former CBL Governor well.
The Liberian Leader assured Mr. Patray that he can be called upon to serve his Country in other capacities when the need arises.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Leader has named Dr. Musa Dukuly as Officer-In-Charge of the Central Bank of Liberia pending the appointment and subsequent confirmation of a new Governor.
The Central Bank of Liberia previously called “National Bank of Liberia” was founded on 18 October 1999 by an act of national legislature and began operations in 2000. It is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
However, some Liberians who were interviewed by the GNN hope the resignation of the CBL Governor will not be a repeat of recent drama when the Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL ), Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah Nyensuah who resigned his position and later accused of Sabotage, money laundering and other criminal charges by the Ministry of Justice.