ALJA Urges Legislature to Reject Weah’s New Currency Request
Minneapolis, Minnesota – The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) is urging the Liberia National Legislature to unanimously reject President George Manneh Weah’s recent request submitted to that august body for the printing of 35 billion Liberian banknotes.
The executive branch of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government is seeking legislative approval for the replacement of the current Liberian currency on the market with new banknotes. The request forms part of reported efforts by the Weah administration for the revival of the ailing Liberian economy.
However, ALJA says the proposal should be thrown out by the legislature because it is not in the national interest of Liberia. The Association maintains President Weah and the CDC administration lack fiscal discipline and have failed to lay out a clear strategy for reviving the country’s struggling economy. ALJA says the government’s past actions, relative to the economy, do not engender any confidence that the 35 billion dollars, if approved, will not be misappropriated.
An ALJA press release issued on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, quotes the Association’s National Leadership as saying that the Liberian economy is currently challenged by hyper infliction as a result of the Weah administration’s failure to properly manage and account for the country’s finances since it assumed the leadership of the country.
ALJA says it would be foolhardy for the legislature to grant President Weah’s request for the introduction of a new currency on the Liberian market while the Central Bank of Liberia and the Technical Economic Management Team(TEMT) chair by Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, are yet to accurately account for the 16 billion Liberian dollars printed by the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration; and the US 25 million dollars, which the CDC government claimed to have infused into the Liberian economy for a reported mop-up exercise.
ALJA asserts that despite three audit reports compiled by the US based auditing firm, Kroll International, the Presidential Investigative Team(PIT) and the General Auditing Commission(GAC), which unraveled profound discrepancies that marked the implementation of the US 25 million dollars mop-up exercise, President Weah is yet to take any concrete action that would ensure accountability in how the US 25 million dollars so-called mop-up exercise was executed; and how the 16 billion Liberian dollars was spent.
ALJA says the printing of a new currency as requested by President Weah in the wake of the cited fiscal challenges would further compound the problem of excess liquidity on the Liberian market.
The Association also, maintained that the implementation of the President’s proposal for the printing of a new currency would further deepen Liberia’s economic woes; and create more hardship for Liberians at home and abroad.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. The Association was founded in 1998 with the objectives of fostering companionship amongst its members and their American counterparts. Additionally, ALJA is committed to advancing press freedom through media capacity building; and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.