Speaker Chambers Blames Past Gov’t for Country’s Failing Economy

24
2611
House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers.

The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government has refused, up to this moment, to take any blame for the country’s crumbling economy despite being in office for more than one year, and has blamed the past government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the current failure and its attendant hardships on the people.

The latest defense came from Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers who said the action and inaction of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Unity Party government have led the country into the current challenging situation it is faced with. Chambers, who is the Speaker of the 54th Legislature recently said in a radio interview at the Liberia Broadcasting System that the CDC government is doing all it takes to revamp the economy through the means of diversification.

He said at present several investors are expressing interest to do business in the country and the Legislature will be meticulous in reviewing and legislating those pieces of concession agreement(s) in order to meet the standards set by the laws of Liberia and that when they are good, the impact on the Liberian economy will be felt positively.

“This government — I mean the Weah administration — has accepted the challenges left behind by the past administration and is working to turn the situation around for the good of the Liberian people,” he said.

The Speaker, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since the beginning of the Sirleaf administration, said the failure of the past administration to properly legislate or put into law several concession agreements are responsible for the nation’s failing economy. He added that the Weah government is exerting frantic efforts to curb the prevailing situation, which is threatening the stability of the country at all ends.

“We all are aware of reports which clearly noted that out of the sixty-eight concession agreements signed between the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime and foreign companies or investors, only two were in line with the best international practices of concession deals between the government and the investors,” Chambers said.

He added that, unlike the Unity Party (UP) era, the CDC leadership will not fall prey to any corrupt or clandestine deals.“The Pro-poor agenda is about reaching out to those who have not partaken of the country’s benefits. This government’s intent is big and so we want to expand it. We don’t want to create a Utopian society. Therefore, we are not going to promise heaven on earth but do our best to change the course in our country’s history,” he promised.

With the country yet to receive the needed international support as it was with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, it is worrisome as to how the CDC regime may succeed in fulfilling all of its 2017 campaign promises.

About the work of journalists in the country, Speaker Chambers said journalists should stop stereotyping people for the sake of satisfying the political interests of others. “Journalists in the country have to refrain from stereotypical ways of reporting issues in the media. A number of bad taste reportage is often propagated by a few media practitioners. They need to desist from such practice,” he said.

He said journalism is a noble profession and he believes that it has rules and code of ethics that should be followed.

Chambers said journalists must have the courage to report and execute their functions in line with the ethics of their profession, to include objectivity, fairness, independence, impartiality, and humanity.

He, however, distanced himself from any plan to revoke the accreditation of Truth FM reporter Musa Kenneh and his colleagues assigned at the House of Representations for any reason.

Commenting further in his live radio broadcast, he said under his stewardship at the legislature, he will work with his colleagues for the promotion of the passage of reasonable laws and ensure that there is a proper representation, and constructive oversight, in consonance with the responsibilities of a sitting lawmaker.

Concerning the reports from the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) and Kroll Associates, Chambers said he is pleased that both the Legislature and President George Weah have been exonerated.”Many accused us without any proof that the Legislature, I mean both Houses, colluded with the Central Bank of Liberia under the stewardship of former Executive Director Milton Weeks to print more money and steal it. Thank God we have arrived at a conclusive point in which the issue of blame shifting is no longer directed at us,” he said.

He said come what may, it is expected that the US$25 million used for the mopping up exercise will be properly investigated as commissioned by President Weah and the findings from that report will be made public.

“Whoever will be found guilty, be it from the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank will face the law as it is now being done in the case involving Charles Sirleaf, Milton Weeks and their colleagues. We are in a country of law and I am of the strongest conviction that Liberians respect laws,” Chambers noted.

24 COMMENTS

  1. he has been in the government for 15 yrs how can you complain. by the way i have seen your house. how can you afford it

  2. Ellen has been gone for more than a year, and yet they are blaming her for all the bad things that is happening to the economy. The CDC party line ls “Blame Ellen for Everything Bad!” But the question is why are things going from bad to worse under President Weah?

    Just look around you: The Liberian dollar has depreciated more than 25% since Weah became President. Companies are laying off left and right, Government officials are stealing to build apartment complexes, And the endless proliferation of anti-business interventions by government is killing small businesses (Hint: $175 additional Tracking Fees on containers)!!

    Hey Mr. Speaker, as you can see, things are getting worser (worse) under Weah. But are you going to continue to blame Ellen for everything that goes wrong for the next 5 years????

  3. Bhofal Chambers was a member of the Legislature, a powerful opposition voice at that, when the 60+ concessions were allegedly legislated rather illegally. What did Chambers do to stop the Legislature from enacting those concessions? Did he vote for or against those concessions? Can Mr. Chambers argue that he did not participate in the scheme of things which has placed our economy in bad shape?

  4. The most honourable Dr. Bhofal Chambers and his likes should stop passing the buck. The day these guys realize that they are leaders and therefore should take responsibility, and not shift blame, is the day this CDC “lead-led” government will start to make real progress. 🙂

  5. Ah, speaker Chambers is finally coming out of his ‘possum hole’ because it’s getting too hot in there. This government has no solutions to fix the economy and the IMF report said that. Investors are not coming to Liberia right now because they don’t have confidence in the leadership of Weah. It’s that simple.

  6. So Ellen brought back street lights in Monrovia but since George Weah took over all the street lights are gone….the city is in total darkness at night. Should we blame Ellen for that too? Bunch of clowns!

    • Exactly. I was in Monrovia couple of months ago and the entire city is in darkness at night. Weah and his clowns don’t know how to run anything. Everything is going to hell in Liberia. They can blame Ellen all they want but they can’t fool the people. Everyone knows what’s going on…

  7. If you wanted to be transparent, you would have audited the previous government of which you were a part holding them accountable for their corrupt deeds. But you chose to carry on. Under your watch, 16 billion Liberian dollars disappeared and an additional USD 25 million dollars withdrawn from the Nation’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York is yet to be accounted for by the Liberian Finance Minister who claims he used the money to “mop up” old Liberian dollars from Fulah Money Changers. What a disgrace? Hoodwinking your own people through trick and artifice. Until you thieves decide to arrest your Finance Minister, to account, Liberia will remain in the economic dust bin of history, and the people will rebel against this Kleptocratic CDC government in which you serve as Speaker. Shifting blame will not save you. Each of you, the CDC government as well as the Ellen Johnson government will all account to the Liberian people.

  8. I wondering is this guy serious, I wonder if he was really voted into office but with the way things are now around the world even a clown can be voted in as president therefore I am not really suprised that this idiot is the speaker of the house , I believe this guy should be one of the many idiots in this government to just sit down and keep his mouth close cause the more he open it the more people begin to discover how stupid and arrogant he is.

  9. We have passed the point of pointing fingers Mr. Speaker. The future is now and as Liberians, the responsibility is upon us to change what is unfolding for the greater benefit of everyone. Let’s stop consuming tax-payers time on blame but instead use every given opportunity to rebuild what was broken. The president alone can not develop Liberia and require a change of mindset. As a speaker of the honorable house, you can begin by developing your community and set such example to be seen by every citizen. The shifting of blame and pointing of fingers will not move us forward. The president is very energetic and will do everything to develop Liberia. He needs committed and qualified individuals with similar vision.

  10. I am with the speaker on this one.
    Ellen Sirleaf should be blamed for the mess the economy in currently in. Ellen was in office for twelve years and she did very little to lift most Liberians up from the web of poverty. In fact the current government has maintained most of the policies implemented by Ellen Sirleaf. For example. About 60% of revenue is spent on salaries, gas slips, cars, per diems, and other benefits ONLY FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

    • Why blame Ellen for the mess now? A lot of Politicians don’t understand politicking and policies. During the elections, the President and his bunch of incompetents were running here and there talking politics and promising this and that. Now it’s time for real policies to be implemented and they have nowhere to begin because they are all jokers. You want real change Chambers? Reduce the salary of the un-honorable Legislature.

      Reps get paid almost $15,000 and Senators get $20,000 a month in salary. Cut that down to $3,000 and $4,000 with no gas slips, cars, per diems, scratch cards and most of your asses would be broke to sponsor your many girlfriends. A rich country like Ghana pays their MP’s $3,500 a month. Reduce the salaries for GM’s , Commissioners, Directors, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Assistant Ministers by 60% and de-fund the office of the President, VP and First lady by 50%. Use all of the savings and invest it into education, health, training programs, and Liberian owned small businesses.

      Then go back and make sure that about 75% of all Government procurement is given to Liberian owned businesses. That would open up the economy big time, and that would bring down the unemployment rate to about 25%. If there are no Liberian businesses, form one to work with some foreign partners. Make sure that all government contracts is given to registered and tax compliant Liberian owned businesses, who would employ only Liberians. Want to reduce the price of rice? Talk to some of our foreign partners to loan the country about $100 Million dollars and use half of that money to import cheap rice every month, and the other half to invest in agricultural and industrial rice farming in all counties of Liberia. Task a revitalized LPMC with opening warehouses in all the county capitals to sell the rice to Liberians, because the current monopolistic system is not working to the benefit of Liberians.

      Don’t stop there, establish a new Liberian National Scholarship Secretariat (LNSC). This would be funded by income tax deduction from those making over $50 a month. How? Deduct $.50 cents monthly from every working Liberian in the public sector, and $1.00 a month from every Liberian working in the private sector. Use that money to fund educational programs and educational infrastructures exclusively. Under the LNSC, create a National student loans programs that would give student loans to college and university students with no interest while the student is in school, and when the student is done school, they can be assigned in the counties at government agencies to work for two years, but with monthly stipend. Make sure that the student does not get his or her diploma or degree until their national service is done. If they do not participate in the national service, they should then pay the government back the loans with 2.5% annual interest.

      Don’t stop here, establish a new Liberian National Health Savings Fund (LNHSF). How would this be funded? Through a flat operational fee collected from remittances. Work with the banks, forex bureaus and other financial institutions to collect this money every month. Let say, for every $20, get a fee of $1.00, $50, get a fee of $2, $75, get a fee of $3 and $100, get a fee of $5. And the list goes on. Use the money from this to build new hospitals, clinics, poly-clinics, buy ambulances and renovate old health centers. I could say more, but these are just my two senses to help Liberians to help ourselves without being spectators in our own economy.

      • Chris – Great ideas but those fools running the country will never give up their gravy train. They’re vampires, not real leaders.

      • Chris Luke,
        Your suggestions are for people in a serious country with a serious leader. Unfortunately, Liberia is not a serious country and has a clueless leader.

  11. Wasn’t he in Ellen’s Gov’t? Didn’t he vote some of those deals in? Is he just coming to Gov’t? Is too sad Liberia is dying.

  12. I think the Hon.Speaker is confessing publicly here that they are unable to do the job. He is just blaming and providing no solutions. This is what I am reading directly from his lips.

  13. Chambers says he is pleased that both the Legislature and President George Weah have been exonerated from colluding with the Central Bank of Liberia to print more money and steal it. He thanks God that “we have arrived at a conclusive point in which the issue of blame shifting is no longer directed at us.” Not so fast Speaker Chambers!!! The Liberian people are not that stupid.

    Here are the TWO questions still to be answered: 1) WHERE ARE THE 16 BILLION LIBERIAN DOLLARS THAT WENT “MISSING” ACCORDING TO THE WEAH GOVERNMENT ITSELF??? 2) WHERE IS THE LIST OF MONEY CHANGERS WHO ALLEGEDLY RECEIVED THE “MOP UP” US$25 MILLION FROM FINANCE MINISTER SAMUEL TWEAH ET. AL.??? Let the Americans continue immediately as promised with phase II of the investigation, the Forensic Audit.

Leave a Reply