LIBERIA: Executive Mansion Confirms Plan For ‘Urgent’ Economic Confab With Lawmakers

Deputy Presidential Press Secretary, Smith Toby

The Executive Mansion has officially validated calls from lawmakers in the wake of the recent Presidential-Legislative Retreat in Margibi County for yet another meeting whose singular agenda would be  solving the current economic situation in the country.

Deputy presidential press secretary Smith Toby told a news conference Tuesday that discussions regarding the economy concern everyone, especially national leaders, and that a retreat like the one solely directed at constitutional issues, is being planned by the Executive Branch of government.

“Even as we speak discussions on how we can turn this economy around are ongoing with financial experts and economic advisers,” said Toby, adding that when the National Legislature and the President decide to hold a retreat on the economy it is worthwhile.

“It is left with the planning, timing and the urgency to do that… and of course it’s very urgent and we look forward to how soon that can happen – and we will let you know,” Toby told the press.

Some senators, according to analysts who attended and followed the Farmington retreat, hold the belief that a future economic summit was an emergency, given the challenges the people are going through daily.

Though all this can be blamed on the country’s fragile the economy: the growing wave of inflation, prompting depreciation of the Liberian dollar; the low generation of foreign exchange which is further made complex by the sharp drop in prices of Liberia’s primary export commodities on the world market is another key factor.

But analysts remain confident that short, medium, and tong-term solutions can be found through depoliticized dialogue.

Many Liberians believe that investing hugely in the agricultural sector, thereby turning it into a processing venture of staple crops that can also be exported, will lift the economy from its deep shocks also left behind by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in 2014; the drawdown of the UN peacekeeping mission, poor infrastructure, and the lack of industrial production in the country.


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