Delivering his nationwide address today, May 29, 2019, the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah announced that the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Nathaniel Patray is scheduled for age-related mandatory retirement in the next three months, noting, “During that period, we will work to transition the bank to a new management,” the Liberian leader declared.
Speaking further, the Liberian leader noted, “At the completion of the “mop-up” exercise, criticisms and allegations were made, that the process had not been done in a proper and professional manner, and that there had been irregularities and issues of mis-management”.
He informed the Liberian people, “The new CBL leadership will be recruited by a vetting committee to be established. It will be composed of an independent team of professional Liberians, to be named shortly. Any qualified Liberian interested in becoming a part of this new leadership team may submit applications to the vetting committee, whether they are resident in Liberia or abroad, and regardless of gender or political affiliation. Meanwhile, I will also announce a new Board of Governors next week”.
He said, “These issues were referred by me to the Minister of Justice and Attorney -General of Liberia for further investigation. He thereupon referred the matter to the General Auditing Commission. Upon completion of its investigation, the General Auditing Commission has reported its findings to the Minister of Justice, who has recently announced these findings to the general public”.
President Weah said, “The investigative report found that of the US$25 million authorized to be used for the mop-up, only US$17 million was used, and that this was exchanged for an equivalent LD2.6 billion Liberian dollars. The GAC report also provides accounting evidence that the amount of LD2.6 billion Liberian dollars was deposited into the Central Bank”.
He however noted, “Major concerns were raised surrounding several CBL-listed businesses that are denying that they participated in the mop-up exercise, as well as other CBL-listed businesses that were found not to be in existence at the time of the GAC audit. The report also found major discrepancies and unexplained variances in the accounting records of the CBL”.
“The Minister of Justice and Attorney General has now requested the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate these irregularities. The aim of this exercise is to determine criminal liability. All those found criminally liable will face the full weight of the law”, the Liberian leader in his per-recorded nationwide speech told the Liberian people.
In order to slow down or halt the depreciation of the Liberian dollar, and thereby bring some much-needed relief to the suffering of our people, my Government was advised by its Economic Management Team, in close collaboration with the Central Bank of Liberia, to make an infusion of $25 million into the economy, through the Central Bank; the purpose being to mop-up the excess liquidity of Liberian dollars.
“I am fully aware of the negative impact of the declining exchange rate on the economic well-being of the Liberian people, and I know that this is causing serious hardship for everyone, but most especially for the ordinary Liberians, who have no financial cushion to protect them from these harsh conditions”, he stressed.