The Liberian Senate through a unanimous recommendation of its Committee on Banking and Currency, has confirmed Mr. Jolue Aloysius Tarlue as the new Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
Mr. Tarlue succeeds Mr. Nathaniel Patray, whose tenure was cut short to less than two years instead of five, after he got engulfed in the controversial LS$16 billion saga, and the US$25 million failed mop-up of excess liquidity, and eventually unceremoniously “retired”.
The Senate’s Banking and Currency committee’s recommendation reads thus: “As a result of findings, honorable Protempore and fellow colleagues of the Liberian Senate, it is our pleasing duty and obligation to recommend to the full plenary of the Liberian Senate for confirmation of honorable Jolue Aloysius Tarlue, as Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.”
The recommendation was signed by Senators J. Alphonsu Gaye, Grand Gedeh County; J. Milton Teahjay, Sinoe County; Jonathan L. Kaipay, Grand Bassa County; Henry W. Yallah, Bong; H. Dan Morais, Maryland County; Armah Zolu Jallah (co-chair), Gbarpolu County; and Marshall A. Dennis (chairman), Grand Gedeh County.
Senators Oscar Cooper of Margibi County, and J. Gbleh-bo Brown of Maryland County did not sign.
It can be recalled that during his recent confirmation proceedings in the Annex Chambers of the Senate, Mr. Tarlue seemed to have entangled himself with whirlwind of contradictions during a question and answer period of the hearing after he had earlier made an impressive documentary presentation.
In one instance, Mr. Tarlue’s date of birth on his National ID card is May 12, 1962; but on his CV, a police clearance he obtained showed a date of birth as 1952; “I will say it is an error and it be corrected,” Tarlue told the Senate.
On his professional experience, Maryland County Senator J. Gbleh-bo Brown, who was cross-examining the nominee, observed that on his CV he stated that he worked at Merrill Lynch from 2004 to 2007; but on the same page showed that he worked at HSBC at the same period, 2004 to 2007.
“Honorable Senator, if that is the case on the CV, then it will be corrected,” Tarlue again said.
On the same CV, Senator Brown observed that from March 2013 to present, he has worked with JP Morgan Chase. Again, Mr. Tarlue answered yes, but informed the Senate that he has not updated his CV. He said the correct ending period is 2018.
Mr. Tarlue also failed to mention his current job as chair of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission on his CV. Asked whether he was scrutinized and vetted for the job as promised by President George Weah during a nation wide address, Mr. Tarlue answered; “I believe I was, I was vetted and spoken to.”
He, however, assured the Senate Committee that he is the right man at the right time to clean the weaknesses and discrepancies detected by the Kroll and PIT reports, and the IMF assessment at the CBL.
Mr. Tarlue, during his confirmation hearing, told the packed Senate Chambers that monetary policies are not necessarily in short supply at the Central Bank of Liberia, “I submit that the key challenge that continues to undermine the monetary policy implementation is the lack of effective enforcement of regulation, and that compliance measure comes in place.
“Investigative report issued by the Presidential Investigative Team, the USAID funded Kroll report, and the IMF assessment…all show variances of discrepancies and Weaknesses in the system; these are the current realities,” he noted, asserting that the weaknesses call for someone to come and clean the house, “and I am the right man at the right time for the job.”
Mr. Tarlue, whose resumé shows that he worked for some of the topnotch banking institutions in the United States and Germany, told the Marshall Dennis-chaired Committee that his vision for the CBL is an independent, non-partisan Central Bank, “a Central Bank that is in line with the tradition of Central Banks, non-interference in our activities.”
Tarlue assured the hearing that he was here for a good purpose and not to undermine the democracy the country is currently enjoying.
Tarlue who worked at America’s largest bank, JP Morgan Chase, said the issue of printing money is a fundamental issue of banking, but it is necessary to ensure that “the conditions are in place so that the public will not have doubts in what you are doing, and that’s where I come in.”
Tarlue observed the lack soundness in the bank supervision area, “and we have to make sure it is optimized; under my leadership, the main objective of the Central Bank will be to regain and maintain price stability.
To put value into the Liberian dollar, Tarlue disclosed that the CBL has instituted a new monetary policy, from an exchange rate policy to an interest rate policy, by placing 30% interest rate on savings.
However, when it came to question and answer period, Mr. Tarlue who is currently serving as chairman of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Committee made what appeared to be contradictory, when he was asked what identity he used for the 17 years, when he worked at the various foreign banks. “I used Resident Permit status.”