The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Chie, has said the Special Session of the Legislature as authorized by President George Manneh Weah will serve as a catalyst to address key economic problems confronting the nation.
Chie, however, is appealing to the Liberian populace for their understanding as the government endeavours to address the situation, emphasizing that “the next few weeks will be difficult with delayed salary payments continuing up to the Christmas season.”
He said at the start of the Special Extraordinary Session of the Legislature on Tuesday, that the government is working very hard to stabilize salary payments by the end of February next year.
Earlier, Pro-Tempore Chie notified members of the Liberian Senate that during the Special Sitting the body is expected to consider actions which will help the economic recovery process, completion of the authorization process for the printing of a new family of currency, and the ratification of key financial instruments which will help revive the economy, among other things.
He also mentioned the confirmation of the nominated Executive Governor and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia who when confirm will play a significant role in the management of the financial situation of the country.
Recently, President Weah issued a Proclamation of Extension for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to reconvene in Special Session for seven days, beginning Tuesday, December 3, to Tuesday, December 10, 2019 to discuss and act upon vital matters of national emergency and concern.
Chie thanked his colleagues for responding to the call of President Weah by cutting short their recess and returning to the Capitol, adding that “the economy has indeed been experiencing stress since the Ebola crisis which increased the national and domestic debt burden, caused a greater imbalance in balance of payments, reduced significantly Liberia’s capacity and thus eroded its export earnings.”
“Some of our major concessions which closed during the Ebola crisis are yet to reopen,” Chie indicated.
“We are at a point where the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has reported that the Liberia Revenue Authority has fallen short of its projected revenue collection from July to November 15, 2019 by approximately US$60 million,” the Pro-Tempore cited.
“When the request was made in August this year, the CBL reported that the Liberian dollar supply in the economy stood at L$21.48 billion, with 86 percent of the currency in circulation outside the banks, while cash in the Central Bank was at eight percent and in the commercial banks six percent of the stock.
“From all indications in recent times, these proportions have changed over the last weeks as our citizens are unable to get Liberian dollars from the commercial banks and Central Bank,” Chie said.