The chair of the Senate Committee on Oder and Administration, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, has intimated that the Legislature will reconvene, if the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) does not come up with a statement on the missing container by Friday. The Legislature officially closed for its annual break, to return in January, 2019.
“If the CBL does not come up with a statement on the missing container by Friday, the Legislature will have to reconvene and summon the Bank,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence noted in a Facebook post. “It is necessary that the CBL which is the institution in charge to come up with a statement, that’s what we need first to establish a case,” she said.
Senator Lawrence said that none of the Legislators was involved with the moving and receiving of money that should be in the vault of the CBL. “The only role of the Legislature is to authorize the printing of the currency; how much was authorized must be a part of the investigation,” she told the Daily Observer in a phone interview.
The Grand Bassa County Senator and political leader of the opposition Liberty Party said she has already started to lobby among her colleagues for their return; “I am sure we will get sufficient signatures we need for our return, because this is of high interest.” Like their just ended two-week extension, the Legislature will not demand nor receive any extra sitting fee.
It may be recalled that, after several deferments, the Senate and President George Weah’s Economic Management Team in mid-July held discussions behind closed doors in the Chambers of the Senate on Capitol Hill.
The Senators and their guests, that included Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, CBL Acting Executive Governor Charles Sirleaf, and Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh and others from the Liberia Revenue Authority, emerged from hours of meeting, though nothing was officially disclosed to the media.
However, in a very brief spontaneous chat, Minister Tweah confirmed then that indeed the US$25 million that President Weah spoke about would be infused on the local market to help address the rapid depreciation of the Liberian dollar.
Tweah reaffirmed President Weah’s promise to revitalize the economy through the encouragement of local entrepreneurs but, like the President, he emphasized that the solution is not going to be immediate.
The meeting on Capitol Hill came less than 24 hours following President Weah’s first address to the nation with emphasis on the state of the economy. It also coincided with the well publicized meeting between members of the local foreign exchange bureaus and the CBL authorities.
That meeting was prompted by a letter from Senator Lawrence to Senate plenary, in which she requested the appearance of heads of financial institutions to address the Senate on the state of the economy.