‘US$17.1M of the US$25M Stimulus Package Used for Mop-up’

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Economic Management Team at yesterday's Senate hearing.

Min. Tweah Tells Senate, says transaction was done ‘exclusively outside the banking sector’

President George Weah’s Economic Management Team, headed by Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, yesterday, November 13, appeared before the Senate for in marathon public hearing on the state of the economy, which lasted for over four-hours.

However, due to the absence of the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Nathaniel R. Patray, or any of his deputies during the hearing, and the fact that most of the concerns were centered on the monetary aspect of the economy, the Senate decided that the interaction continues on Tuesday, November 20, at which time a high powered team from the CBL will be present.

Although Finance Minister Tweah was answering questions from a 38-page financial document, he assured Senate plenary that the intervention of President Weah, through the infusion of a US$25 million stimulus package, has helped to thwart what was gradually becoming a looming financial crisis, following the alarming depreciation of the local currency.

Minister Tweah said, however, that the transaction, unlike others during the past government, was done exclusively outside the banking sector, and assured that the CBL, which was responsible for the process, has documents with the names, telephone numbers, and emails of all those who benefited.

He said through the tax waiver, the government has been losing over US$200 million, which he said the current government is going to look at critically.

Tweah disclosed that of the US$25 million, US$17.1 million was used to mop up LD$2.3 billion from the market and stated further that the US$25 million was not intended to remain sustainable but a quick action intervention, which has helped to keep the exchange rate stable for some time.

He said that currently, there is L$17.1 billion in circulation outside the banking sector.

On the question of whether there is currently a team of foreign investigators and/or forensic auditors in the country, Minister Tweah said that the issue was outside the scope of his team’s mandate, and so he referred the Senate to the Ministry of Justice. But financial experts have questioned the legality of Minister Tweah’s actions to affect the monetary policy which is entirely the prerogative of the Central Bank.

He could not also recollect whether the printing of new currency was discussed by the transition team of which he was a part, or whether the amount of money in the CBL’s vaults was disclosed to the transition team, but assured that the CBL will be well placed to answer such a query.

LRA Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah informed the hearing that the entity is doing well as projected and is above target and that as of October 1, the revenue collection stands at US$161.9 million as compared to the same period last year, which was US$115 million.

Mr.Nah said the LRA is on track to realize its budgetary revenue projection of US$31 million from the Road Fund, as it has so far collected the amount of US$7.4 million that is placed in an escrow account from its recent consolidated account.

Meanwhile, as earlier reported by this newspaper, the Senate has received a communication from the House of Representatives nominating managers who are expected to accompany the article of impeachment and present same to Senate Plenary on tomorrow’s Thursday.

Immediately thereafter on Friday, Senate sources disclosed to this newspaper that members of the august body will meet to set a date to commence the impeachment trial.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Why was the page that was supposed to list those whom received the “mop up” money missing from the report? The Senator asked why the page with this listing was apparently mislsbeled and he got the run around from Tweah. Then no one who can supposedly answer the question about the recepients shows up?!?! Anyone not seeing this for what it is really needs to have their brain checked.

  2. I am not economist but, I would want to think that a stimulus would have to be process through the banking sector so as to infuse cash into the economy. Why would the CBL leave out the banking institutions, this was just a means to embezzled the 17 million dollars that’s the only reason why the funds was not funnel through the banks.

  3. The CDC Kleptocratic government will not show you any list of those who allegedly “received”” the mop up” money because no money was “mopped up” by this Finance Minister. The process of “mopping up” should take place in the banks. You bring in old Liberian notes/currencies, you get new ones equivalent. This is what was done during the Tubman, Tolbert, and Doe eras. The Finance minister divided the money among themselves. It is not the business of the Finance Minister to “mop up.” The “mop Up’ process is reserved only for the banking institutions. This Finance Minister with freckles face is indeed a thief of the first class. No where in the entire world do you a finance minister in the business of “mopping up” except in Liberia. This rascal is indeed an enemy to the truth.

  4. Where is the list of people or businesses the money was given to for the purpose of mopping up? This is what you get when you elect an inexperienced idiot of a president based on popularity, who then in return appoint people with no prior experience of heading such an important ministry or function of government, but only purpose is bent on stealing.

    This Tweah guy with his ugly face has no experience in banking or finance, nor any direct experience in monetary policy, yet he’s the idiot leading such an important ministry. Wow…only in Liberia. A close friend of his told me that the $25 Million mopping money is where Tweah got his chopping from. I also heard that, he feels he knows everything and very hard to work with. Then again, this too is Liberia.

  5. Giving gullible legislators “wahway” …All those thieves should be locked up by now, but as always, natin will come from insah! Yet we continue to beg like an over used night woman! stay poor, not pro poor!!

  6. Liberia is a complete joke.The Economic Team shows up to explain how $25 Millions were infused in the economy. The monetary person doesn’t show up.The fiscal person tells the legislators that the information regarding who received the funds is with the monetary person.Case closed.End of the gingerbread boy. Dortu Sieboe-Doe and Sylvester Moses any explanation?

  7. A wise person once said, “When you come right down to it, almost any problem eventually becomes a financial problem.”

    Yes indeed! Recently, Liberia has been embroiled in all sorts of financial saga.

    There are several perplexing questions to this whole “cover your own a..” charade. Is it due to the fact that they all have been caught with their pants down? This charade, spectacle, or public show: just to find a “fall guy” includes lawmakers, the fast talking finance Minister Tweah and the no show CBL Governor.

    These perplexing questions still remain unanswered!

    1. Why was the Executive Governor, Mr. Nathaniel R. Patry, or any of his deputies not present during these hearings?

    2. Is President Weah now unilaterally giving order to the finance minister as alleged to use the country meager revenue to stimulate the economy?

    3. Under what legislative authority did Min. Tweah execute spending US$25M as stimulus money into the Liberian economy?

    4. To my knowledge, the authorization of funds from the country treasury for economic recovery falls under the jurisdiction of the legislative branch and not the executive branch as was allegedly authorized by Pres. Weah. If so, this is a gross breach of separation of power by the executive branch. Authorization to print money, or authorization to allocate money as stimulus package to help our failing economy to recover falls under the purview of the legislative branch.

    5. The legislative branch is responsible for passing into law authorizing the permission to print money, and authorizing the allocation of how much funds would be required through the advice of the Finance Ministry and CBL. Then when such stimulus package is enacted into law for authorization, it’s then passed unto the President for his signature to be enacted into law. Was any authority given by the Legislative Branch for such stimulus money?

    6. How was US$17.1M infused into the economy? A comprehensive forensic audit is needed. During recession, as was done during the U.S. 2008-2009 recession, a stimulus package was mostly used to provide temporary relief in a weak economy….the money was given to people directly and some indirectly to alleviate the hardship.

    7. Why wasn’t this US$25M so called “stimulus” not divided among every unemployed Liberian over the age of eighteen as a means for them to spend (to infuse) their stimulus money back into the economy, or create a large scale work force project (agriculture/road..etc.) for employment to help boost an already weak economy? This wage earned also increases people disposal income.

    8. These lawmakers are on different committees: finance, education, armed services, appropriation, judiciary, agriculture etc., to serve as oversights. Unfortunately, the House finance committee failed to properly execute their fiduciary duties for which they were elected to perform at that time (not now) when these alleged unauthorized legislative transactions first took place: the alleged unauthorized Printing of additional LD$10B by the CBL then Governor Weeks, and the unaccounted expenditures for the US$25M by Min. Tweah

    9. From what Min. Twah allegedly stated, that out of US$25M, only US$17.1 was infused into the economy, then what happened to the unexplained remaining balance of US$7.9M?

    10. There are lots of unanswered questions about what really happened to the stimulus US$25M and the additional LD$10B that was printed. Unfortunately, these alleged unauthorized legislative transactions should have immediately drawn a “red flag” long time ago. Why should our high salary lawmakers wait until the press unearthed this money saga before our lawmakers begin to put on a big charade (show) they called investigation?

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