Deputy Central Bank of Liberia Governor for Economic Policy designate, Dr. Mounir Siaplay, has told members of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency that he is up to the task and will work in accordance with the standing policy of the Bank.
Dr. Siaplay, whose statement was contained in a speech delivered to the Committee yesterday, said he comes to the post with the requisite qualification and experience, which will enable him deliver to expectation.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Minister for Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Dr. Siaplay served as Economic Advisor to President Sirleaf.
“I can assure you of my academic preparedness for this position, having earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the Oklahoma State University; a Master of Science degree in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from the North Dakota State University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from the Concordia College,” he said.
As Deputy Minister for Economic Management at MFDP, the nominee said he worked closely with the CBL team to negotiate the package of support that Liberia received year-on-year from international financial institutions, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), to which he is Liberia’s Alternate Governor, the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others.
According to Dr. Siaplay, the MFDP and the CBL worked closely on Liberia’s Extended Credit Facility program with the IMF, as well as the Rapid Credit Facility, through which the IMF provided financial support to the government’s fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
On some of his contributions, Dr. Siaplay said: “I Co-Chaired the Technical Liquidity Management Team, comprising the MFDP and the Central Bank of Liberia, whose objective is to formulate policies to address government’s short-term operation and cash management needs, and to mitigate exchange rate risks.”
Continuing, he said: “My cordial relationships with CBL colleagues on the committee helped to ensure the strong coordination between the fiscal and monetary authorities to navigate such macroeconomic crises during the EVD outbreak.”
He believed such strong CBL-MFDP collaboration fostered macroeconomic stability during the EVD crisis, and formed the basis for “my work as one of the key architects of the government of Liberia’s Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP), the country’s roadmap to post-EVD economic recovery.”
The President’s nominee also cited his input to revamp the country’s Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC), the government’s think-tank, adding “I also initiated a research seminar series in the Department of Economic Management, which currently informs the policy-making process at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.”
“If I am confirmed as Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, I hope to foster an even stronger relationship between the CBL’s Economic Policy arm, the MFDP’s Department of Economic Management, LIMPAC and Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), to further advance the government’s efforts toward self-reliance in the area of data collection and analysis,” Dr. Siaplay said.
He indicated that his experience working as Deputy Minister for Economic Management afforded him the opportunity to understand and collaborate closely with the monetary authority to formulate evidence-based policies to support the implementation of the Agenda for Transformation and the Vision 2030 with the aim to propel Liberia to the Middle Income Country status by 2030.
“If I am confirmed by this honorable body, I will work to ensure that matters relating to research and policy advice are adequately developed. Working with other key stakeholders in the economy, we will develop do-able policies to maintain macroeconomic stability – that is having stable exchange rate and low inflation,” he told his examiners.
The Deputy Governor designate pledged to liaise with regional institutions to inform management on matters pertaining to the West African Monetary Agency, the West African Monetary Institute, ECOWAS Commission and the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, to support Liberia’s regional cooperation goals, if confirmed.