Liberia: CDC Lawmaker Discloses Reason For Printing New Money
Monrovia – An Executive Committee Member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Representative Acarous Gray, has justified the significance of the printing of new Liberian banknotes by the George Manneh Weah-led administration.
Lawmaker Gray is representing the people of electoral district # 8 in the 54th National Legislature.
A report from the Joint Committee of the National Legislature on Banking and Currency, and Ways, Means and Finance gave the Executive proposed the printing of new Liberian banknotes.
The report followed a communication addressed to both houses in September by President Weah on the decline of the country’s economy due to unaccounted local currency infused.
Members of the 54th National Legislature are expected to cut their break short to return to the Capitol Building on November 18 to purposely grant the request of the Executive to print about 35 billion new Liberian dollars.
There have been mixed reactions among lawmakers over the printing of new Liberian banknotes.
But according to Representative Gray, the printing of the new banknotes will help put smiles on the faces of civil servants (bulk of who have not taken pay for several months), for the festive season.
His assertions were contained in a statement posted on the social media on Wednesday.
“Printing of money will also help pay our civil servants on time for the Christmas break, but you are kicking against it because you believe that if civil servants are not paid on time, they could join you in your so-called Weah must resign failed protest”– Rep. Moses Acarous Gray, Montserrado County, District 8, CDC
He lashed at those criticizing the printing of new Liberian banknotes by the Weah-administration in the midst of numerous economic challenges.
“Printing of money will also help pay our civil servants on time for the Christmas break, but you are kicking against it because you believe that if civil servants are not paid on time, they could join you in your so-called Weah must resign failed protest,” Representative Gray stated.
“See how these guys are so evil to the suffering masses,” he added.
‘Rascals’ printed 10billion
Representative Gray has accused those he called “rascals” of printing the controversial L$10 billion during the regime of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
He believed that the printing of new banknotes will be compelled “crooks” to continue to spend the old ones that were printed.
“I see no reason why we must not print a new banknote and withdraw from the market the old ones. These rascals who printed the extra L$10bn to undermine this administration will bring out that old money when a new one is printed,” he maintained.
Representative Gray furthered: “These crooks are now spending some of that stolen money on the so-called advocates for the purpose of misleading the public that printing money now is evil. Don’t be misled by these tricksters.”
The idea of printing new Liberian banknotes is not going down well with some members of the 54th National Legislature.
One of such persons is Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon.
The Liberty Party lawmaker wants Liberians to prevail upon their respective lawmakers to disapprove the printing of new Liberian bank notes.
He said citizens should be abreast about the outcome of investigations into the US$16 billion and US$25million mop up exercise, as well as structural changes put in place to avoid re-occurrence, especially at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
“Citizens of Liberia, please prevail upon your lawmakers and if possible, pressure them to not give approval to the printing of new bank notes. We first need to know what actually happened to the US$16b and the US$25m said to have been infused into the economy to mop up excess Liberian dollars from the market,” Dillon stated on the social media.
It remains unclear whether or not lawmakers will yield to the reported call of the Executive to attend an extra sitting which is in keeping with Article 32(b) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia.
Article 32(b) states: “The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special or extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than 48 hours after receipt of the certificate by the President”.
There are reports that lawmakers are demanding the full payment of their salary arrears and “extra sitting fee” before signing a resolution to return for the extra sitting.