Finance Minister Kamara Assures Protesting Businesses of Gov’t Support

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Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima Kamara

Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara has assured protesting business owners of government’s continued support in finding a reasonable redress to their concerns in order to keep the country stable and peaceful.

The Minister made the statement yesterday, February 1, at the start of a two-day conference entitled “Liberia’s Development Conference” held under the theme “Engendering Collective Action for Advancing Liberia’s Development.”

Minister Kamara clarified that the decline of the value of the Liberian dollar against the US dollar cannot be entirely attributed to the dual currency regime as is being suggested in some quarters. It is a result of the nature of the structure of the country’s economy, he said, adding that “to reverse these structural inadequacies of the economy requires deliberate policy actions that would reverse the worsening balance of payment.”

He said for the country to move away from a dual currency regime requires the building of the requisite economic structures to support the local currency.

Kamara, who is also the former Central Banker of Liberia (CBL) Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, characterized the financial system as still being “shallow” with limited size of assets and suggested the need to “deepen” the system.

He also highlighted infrastructural deficits, the need to strengthen the legal framework, and the very critical need to address the high level of non-performing loans.

He praised the Collateral Registry at the Central Bank which he said “gives more flexibility for access to credit.”

Minister Kamara said: “We’ve got too many commercial banks and now need more specialized financial institutions like mortgage finance systems to strengthen the financial sector.”

The two day conference, which is being held at the Monrovia City Hall, brought together policymakers, civil society and transformation entities to discuss the challenges and solutions on the way forward, especially as the country heads to crucial polls in October.

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