President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially commissioned six newly appointed and confirmed senior government officials, urging them to remain mindful of the duties and responsibilities assigned to them.
The ceremony took place on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the C. Cecil Dennis Jr. Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the President commissioned Hon. Boima S. Kamara, Minister of Finance and Development Planning; and Mr. Milton A. Weeks, Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
Also commissioned were Mr. David M. Fahart, Melisa Emeh, Kollie Tamba and Elsie Dossen Badio, all of whom constitute the Board of Governors of the Central
Bank of Liberia (CBL).
President Sirleaf called on the newly commissioned officials to work together collectively and collaboratively for the betterment of Liberia.
“I feel it is important in the context of recent experience to point to the importance of the roles and responsibilities which you are to assume, particularly, with reference to the role of the Central Bank,” the Liberian leader said.
She said consistent with role of Central Banks all over the world, the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia holds a unique position, amongst public officials, because he or she can act with enormous independence and autonomy. For example, she said, the Minister of
Finance can only propose a budget to the legislature each year on behalf of the President. Said budget, according to the President, must be passed into law by the legislature each year after full public debates and signed into law by the President. She said this system provides substantial oversight for the people on how financial resources are used.
“The Central Bank is not subjected to a rigorous budgetary process,” President Sirleaf pointed out. The Liberian leader said the issue of the Central Bank’s autonomy is a very serious issue in Liberia, because the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia has greater autonomy than Governors of Central Banks in other countries.
Under the circumstances, she said, sometimes it is much more difficult to take actions when problems arise. President Sirleaf said Article 13.3 of the Central Bank Act states that: “A member of the Board of Governors can be removed from office only by impeachment by the Liberian Senate upon the signing of the majority Board of Governors and the recommendation of the President for any of the specified reasons.”
The Liberian leader said it was very important to set these principles in order to reemphasize the importance of the Central Bank being de-politicized and its officials apolitical.
President Sirleaf challenged the newly commissioned to assume their
new roles with commitment and called on them to be mindful of the
tremendous responsibility at hand during these difficult economic and
financial times. She said she will be counting on their competence,
experience, integrity and cooperation with each other, adding, “Your duty and
loyalty is to Liberia alone.”
Speaking on behalf of his commissioned colleagues, Liberia’s new
Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima S. Kamara, thanked
President Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in them to serve the
country and promised to work in the best interest of the Liberian
people. He said the road ahead is challenging but that he and his colleagues have committed themselves to serving with diligence and honesty.
He thanked Liberia’s international partners including the IMF, ADB,
World Bank, USA, and China, Germany and Norway among others for their
continued support and commitment to Liberia’s development efforts.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by senior government
officials including Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Armah Z. Jallah, members of the legislature, the cabinet, and members of the diplomatic corps.