— Says Minister Tweah
Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., says the program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Liberia is about to enter will yield positive results for the country.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Mika Saito visited Monrovia from February 25-March 8, to conduct discussions for the 2019 Article IV Consultation with Liberia.
At the conclusion of its mission to Liberia, months back, an IMF team, led by Mika Saito, added: “Liberia’s economic situation is challenging, and strong policy actions will be required to maintain as favourable an outlook as anticipated. Macroeconomic stability has proved elusive despite improved revenue collection in the first half of FY2019, and the fiscal stance has loosened significantly. With accommodative monetary policy meeting fiscal needs, the exchange rate has depreciated and inflation accelerated by a fair margin. This is detrimental to the living standards of the most vulnerable Liberians, who earn and spend primarily in Liberian dollars, and threatens the success of the pro-poor agenda. Growth for 2018 is now estimated at 1.2 percent, while the forecast for 2019 on current policies has been revised.”
Against this backdrop, Minister Tweah said the IMF program will ensure that money from the government is used in the right manner. “With the IMF program, you cannot use the money any way,” he said.
The Finance Minister made the disclosure when he appeared on the ‘Super Morning Show,’ the morning talk-show of the state broadcaster, ELBC, with a simulcast on several radio stations across the country on Monday, November 4, 2019.
Minister Tweah, who spoke on a wide range of issues, called on members of the opposition parties and Liberians in general to support the development agenda of President Weah, adding that Liberians should take the country as one.
He explained that what the government met in its consolidated account at the CBL in 2018 was about US$6 million. He revealed that the government is working on a new concession agreement with the Republic of Guinea, which will lead to the construction of rail from Guinea to the Buchanan Port and will increase exports of iron ore through that belt from 5 million tons to 10 million tons annually.
Commenting on the mop-up exercise, he said US$15 million was infused into the economy, while US$2 million was given to petroleum importer Total Liberia. Much of the local currency, he said, is outside the banks, and there is a need to bring the money back to the banks.
For this to happen, he said the government needs to raise interest rates in order for people who have monies at their homes to take it back to the bank.
Also, he said the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) is giving young people the right skills which will link them to job opportunities. He applauded the Ministry of Youth and Sports for building the capacity of Liberian youth.
He called on Liberians to be patient because the government is doing everything to improve the lives of Liberians. He urged Liberians to get the facts, instead of listening to people who were saying that the government is doing nothing.