A renowned Liberian Economist, Mr. Samuel P. Jackson, has underscored the need for the Government of Liberia (GoL) to reprioritize the National Development Agenda (NDA), which he said would help support medium and long-termed priorities in the post-Ebola recovery of the country.
Mr. Jackson made the statement recently at the end of a two-day forum held in Monrovia on post-economic recovery impact caused by the Ebola epidemic. He stated that donors’ programs and regional initiatives must support the goals of the Liberian government recovery plan.
He observed that in order to develop a strategy, it was important that government firstly analyze the state of the country’s economy before and during the Ebola epidemic and that finding will inform government’s capacity to deliver on the national budgetary realignment.
“There is a need to realign the national budget, so as to efficiently respond to short term/emergency priorities, including supporting critical sectors and domestic enterprises in the country,” the Liberian economist noted
“What was the state of Liberia’s economy before the attack of the devastating consequences of the Ebola Virus Disease? What was the state of livelihoods? Were there any significant improvements in socioeconomic conditions; and what will be the impact of the disease on livelihoods in the short, medium, and long terms?” he asked rhetorically.
He indicated that the disease has the potential to make the situation in the country worse than before, because Liberians have been deteriorating in economic indicators ever since and even before the start of the disease.
Mr. Jackson said that the projected economic growth rate for this year has been reduced from nearly six per cent to less than one per cent, explaining that the country could see a contraction in economic output in the first two quarters of next year compared to the same quarter of this year, resulting in economic depression.
The Liberian economist, who has been critical on a number of national issues, said the revenue will decrease, resulting in expected drop of 20 per cent of the current year’s budget, adding, “We are expecting a decrease in revenues of at least 106 million dollars.”
“Export earnings will decline, but the trade deficit will be the same due to lower imports,” he disclosed.