Former CBL Governor Seekie Proffers Economic Solution, Urges Gov’t To Consider

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Monrovia – Former Governor of the Liberia National Bank now the Central Bank of Liberia, Professor Ralaigh F. Seekie says the economic downward trend of the Liberian economy can be restored if there are thorough review and scrutiny of the monetary and fiscal policies.

Professor Seekie, a professional banker, economist, Auditor, Accountant, is “very concern about the staggering economic situation in his country especially with the constant decline of the Liberian banknotes against the United States dollars.”

He said it is compelling upon him to intervene and provide workable recommendations for the forward match of the Country.

The Cuttington Graduate School Professor said in order for Liberia to compete with the economies of other developing countries in the region, its monetary policy must be critically analyzed to effectively utilize the monetary tools.

Professor Seekie has recommended several economic measures and says when fully implemented by policymakers it will ease the current economic situation the ordinary Liberians are faced with on a daily basis.  

The experienced Liberian banker wants the CBL to regulate the interest rates of all commercial banks to enable poor Liberians businesses to participate in the economy.

He added that an irrevocable letter of credit should be opened by the customers of all commercial banks for the importation of all essential commodities such as; rice and flour, building materials Pharmaceutical products, petroleum products, educational materials amongst others.

He said an honest utilization of irrevocable letter of credit by commercial banks must be properly monitored to ensure that foreign exchange is used for the importation of essential goods, not to be credited to individual off sure accounts.

That a special window should be opened in all of the commercial Banks for the sole purpose of buying and selling foreign exchange which he believes will enable the Central Bank of Liberia to monitor the exchange rates, he said.

He said the arbitrary increase of foreign exchange rate without justifications, besides the old saying that “Liberia imports more goods than what it exports” might be true but proper mechanism can be put in place to tackle the foreign exchange problem.  

Professor Seekie, who is also owns a private accounting firm in Monrovia, also wants the Ministry of Commerce to monitor the issuance of Import Permit Declaration (IPD) and should be thoroughly verified and ensure that importers open an irrevocable letter of credit through their respective commercial banks and be monitored by the Regulation and Supervision Department of the CBL.

He said as an austerity measure, it should be a policy of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in collaboration with the CBL and that all exporters should surrender between 25 to 35 percent of their proceeds from the sales of the products to the CBL and its equivalent in Liberian dollars should be credited to the exporters’ account maintained in their respective banks depending on the existing rate at the time.

Professor Seekie is confident that if all these recommendations are considered or implemented, the depreciation of the Liberian dollar will be at an affordable level for the common people.

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