Liberia: Abraham Darius Dillon Describes Resolution Seeking to Print New Liberian Banknotes in The Wake of Bountiful Unresolved Issues
Monrovia — Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has vowed to oppose the printing of new Liberian bank notes if ‘check and balance’ is not implore to ensure that adequate steps are taken and solutions are finalized on the multiple unresolved issues surrounding the executive’s request for the benefit of the country and its citizens.
Senator Dillon, who is the Vice Chairman for Political Affairs of the Liberty Party (LP), is representing the people of Montserrado in the 54th National Legislature on the ticket of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
The LP is one of the political parties that make up the CPP. Other parties that form part of the CPP are: the Alternative National Congress (ANC), All Liberian Party (ALP) and the former ruling Unity Party (UP).
It can be recalled that the Plenary of the House of Representatives recently endorsed a resolution from its Committee on Banking and Finance for the executive, through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to print additional L$48 billion.
The decision of members of the House has been forwarded to the Liberian Senate for possible concurrence. But the joint resolution has met stiff resistance from Senators of the CPP.
Speaking when he appeared as guest on Fabric FM101.1 on Monday, March 30, Senator Dillon described the printing of new Liberian banknotes’ proposal from the Executive as the continuous refilling of a ‘burst’ or leaking bucket with water.
He noted that it does not make any sense for additional Liberian dollars to be printed in the midst of mountainous of unresolved issues.
He stated that a mere justification given by authorities of the CBL and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning that citizens and others are no longer saving their monies in the commercial banks due to the lack of trust and confidence in the banking system clearly implies that “the bucket is leaking”.
Senator Dillon added that though members of the CPP serving in the Liberian Senate are not against the printing of additional Liberian dollars, the proposal from the Executive to print new money does not mean the “leakage” on the bucket has been fixed.
“We from the CPP- we are Liberians first before we are members of political parties. We are not against the growth and development of our country. Not because George Weah is President so we should fight everything even if some of the things we fighting or want to fight make sense for the growth and development of the country”.
“We are not against the printing of money but I want my people to understand that we are not members of the Cabinet who serve at the pleasure of the President. The people in the Executive serve at the pleasure of the President and that’s the reason why they do anything to the people once the President approves it or is pleased. On the issue of printing of money-we are only doing check and balance because, that is our function”.
He claimed that not much has been done by authorities of the CBL and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to restore citizens’ and others’ confidence and trust in the banking system.
“Even if you change the money to new one and do away with the old one, if the people do not trust the banking system, they will find means to get their money back to where they have been keeping it outside of the banking system. So, what have you done? What are you doing? What guarantees are being put in place that the system we are trying to put together will work to restore the confidence of the people”.
Senator Dillon pointed out that though some of these issues were raised during public hearings on the printing of the additional bank notes, the required clarities and assurances have not been made by the relevant authorities heading the country’s monetary entities.
He noted that the Weah led-government has allegedly failed to provide a clear explanation on the well about of 47% of the L$16 billion printed by the administration of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recorded in the Kroll report.
According to him, no report or clear explanation has been provided by the CDC led-government over the printing of the L$4 billion in recent times.
“What happened to your own L$4 billion that you printed? I gave you authority to print L$4 billion dollars, I want the report. That report along could satisfy my curiosity”.
Senator Dillon indicated that it is scaring for the Executive who has not yet provided a report on the L$4 billion printed to be requesting for the printing of about L$48 billion, which he claimed is the highest amount of money to be requested for printing since Liberia was founded.
“L$48 billion has never been in the economy of Liberia with all the GDP. We have always been around 28, 26 or 22 billion dollars”.
He, however, disclosed that members of the CPP within the Liberian Senate have not affixed their signatures to the report from the Joint Committee of that August Body on the printing of new money because, the committee’s report has not been fully debated in Plenary.
According to him, specific timeframe proposed by the Executive for the printing of new banknotes in separate years, especially 2023, is uncalled for.
Senator Dillon pointed out that such proposal has the propensity of fueling conflict in the nation.
“We want the money to be printed this year; we want to see the features, designs and denominations. The Central Bank proposed that they want to print this year, next year and 2023. We have concluded that 2023 is off and 1000 bank note is off.
We are contending also that five dollars and ten dollars should not be in coins. It should be in bank notes”.
He warned that Liberia will experienced inflation if there is a rush to print new money without finding answers to questions being raised by members of the CPP legislative caucus within the Liberian Senate.
Not working for Executive
Senator Dillon pointed out that though members of the Liberian Senate are part of the Weah led-government, they do not work to the will and pleasure of the Liberian Chief Executive.
“We want to ensure that the proper things are done. First thing first; I got a simple way of placing it. The bucket is leaking and you want to refill the bucket with water but, you don’t want to fix the leakage; you want to put water in the bucket that is leaking and you want it to get full. Something much be wrong with your mental state”.
He maintained that ministers and other appointed government officials feel glad and proud if their actions or decisions are endorsed by the President even if they acted against the wellbeing or betterment of the citizenry.
Senator Dillon disclosed that if lawmakers from both houses of the national legislature develop similar culture of serving at the pleasure of those who elected them as ministers and appointed government officials normally do to the President, Liberia and its citizens will reap massive potential benefits.
Fighting for a system
Speaking further, the CPP Senator renewed calls for lawmakers to work towards the strengthening of systems that would work in the interest of their respective constituents.
“We are fighting to build a system so the people can benefit from the system. We can’t use state resources and make it our personal projects. It should be state resources we used to build carry on these projects for the benefit of the people”.
He noted that praise singing and worshipping will continue to be rendered to individuals or government officials who used state resources to initiate projects for the citizens.
He added that when those public officials who used state finances to initiate projects are caught in the web of corruption, he or she will buy sympathy for citizens who they normally extend helping hands to during the time of need.
Senator Dillon added that but if an official is corrupting a system which seeks to be beneficiary to the citizenry, he or she will be chastised by the citizens and mounting outcry would lead to a possible prosecution.