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Senate Rejects Three Central Bank of Liberia Board Nominees

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Monrovia – The Liberian Senate has taken an unprecedented action to deny three nominees of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). They are Richard Dolley, Timothy Thomas and James B. Dennis. All of them were nominated by President George Weah to serve on the Board of Governors of the CBL.

In a report from the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, chair by Senator Marshall Dennis of Grand Gedeh County, recommended that the three nominees be rejected confirmation by the Liberian Senate because, according to the Senate’s committee, “They are not abreast with current day economy realities.”

Dennis and Dolley are retired governors of the CBL and to the Senate committee, the two men are out of touch with contemporary economy realities in the country.

“Due to the downturn in the economy status right now, we want more proactive people to be recruited that would be robust in dealing with the situation. The situation we have now requires policies that would resuscitate the economy in the shortest possible time otherwise the masses of our people will continue to suffer.

“We need more robust people right now, people with the knowhow to their fingertips to be able to join the Central Bank to see how we can turn the wheels. Due to the Committee’s cross examination, we don’t want to believe that these nominees have these characteristics. They may have experiences in banking but they don’t have the expertise to deal with contemporary issues.” 

This is the first time in many years, the Senate has taken such decision.

During his confirmation hearings, Mr. Dennis described as a “tactical error,” the decision by the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) to have left commercial banks out of the Mop Up process. TEMT is headed by Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, who is on record of saying that they did the mop up exercise in a “different way.” This different way included allegedly taking thousands of US$s and giving it to foreign exchangers sitting in little booths in street corners without proper supervisions. 

According to Mr. Dennis, TEMT should have used commercial banks to carry out the mop-up, which according to him, would have been the only effective way of achieving the aim of the exercise. 

Also, in his presentation at the hearing, Mr. Dolley, another of the Board member, who was designated, in response to Maryland County’s Senator Gbleh-Bo Brown’s concerns about internal controls, said, there are policies in place at the CBL but people have refused to apply them. 

“Internal control policy can be in place but if we choose to ignore them then they are not there. For example on the case of the US$25 million, how to handle it, obviously there were no clearly defined policy or procedure so no internal controls were designed for it,” Dolley stated.

He promised that if confirmed by the Senate, part of their priorities will be to look at every audit report and will work to redesign a strategy. “We will look at these audit reports and see how we can redesign a strategic plan for the CBL. CBL is a policy-oriented institution. It’s not a factory. The policies are there but people knowingly or unknowingly ignore them.

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