Liberia needs to improve private sector confidence in its reform agenda – says IMF

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 June 2019:

A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Mika Saito, visited Monrovia June 12 – 24, 2019 to discuss possible financial support under the Extended Credit Facility.

According to the IMF, the mission supports the authorities’ objectives of restoring macroeconomic balance in the near-term, addressing weaknesses in governance and institutions of the public sector, improving the business climate, and putting Liberia on a fiscally sustainable and inclusive growth path.

In achieving these aims, the IMF says that good progress was made in a number of important areas, including the contours of the FY2020 budget, the stance and modalities of monetary policy, and a structural reform program that is consistent with the Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

At the end of the mission, Ms. Saito issued the following statement:

“Following a series of external shocks—including a fall in key commodity prices, the lingering effects of Ebola, and the rapid depreciation of the exchange rate that followed, the economic situation facing Liberia has proved challenging.

“Growth has slowed, reserve stocks have come under significant pressure, and macroeconomic imbalances have increased.

“Inflation accelerated, and now stands at about 23 percent. The difficult economic conditions and loss of purchasing power are being felt particularly by the most vulnerable members of society, many of whom are experiencing significant hardship.

“Macroeconomic stabilization, particularly a lowering of inflation, is the immediate priority.

“The success of the reform agenda is predicated on the adoption of a credible and executable budget for FY2020 and beyond. In addition, participation across all groups within the public sector is essential to support the reform agenda.

“Key to this is that expenditure be held to a level consistent with realistic estimates of the resource envelope, so that budget execution in the coming year can proceed with predictability and efficiency. This is needed to support the provision of essential public services and avoid the accumulation of domestic arrears.

“Securing enough resources to fund an efficient government expenditure program will require both additional revenue measures and reforms to reallocate expenditure.

“The latter requires a reduction in the size of the public sector wage bill, as it currently accounts for almost 65 percent of total budget expenditure and is effectively crowding out needed spending in other areas.

“Full implementation of a credible and equitable wage restructuring program is essential to the success of the overall reform agenda.

“The mission noted the importance of rebuilding foreign exchange reserves to improve resilience to externals shocks, which is one of the key objectives of Fund-supported programs.

“The mission also highlighted the importance of allowing the exchange rate to remain flexible and improving the transparency of CBL’s foreign exchange operations.

“The mission welcomes the new monetary policy framework developed by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), aiming to better manage monetary conditions to achieve price stability.

“In this regard, the mission supports the CBL’s intention to achieve greater alignment of interest rates on its newly introduced monetary policy instruments.

“The mission notes, however, that success of the new monetary policy framework will also hinge on a successful fiscal program and the elimination of additional government borrowing from the CBL.

“The reform agenda will also place requirements on managing the CBL’s operational budget, improving internal controls and oversight, and strengthening governance.

“The mission welcomed the recent appointment of non-executive Governors of the CBL and the two acting deputy governors—as essential for improvement in the bank’s operational efficiency and governance.

“Discussions also included a package of growth-enhancing structural reforms to strengthen public financial management, reduce corruption, and improve the business climate.

“In this regard, the mission noted the need to improve private sector confidence in the reform agenda, the attainment of better economic outturns in the years ahead, and on government’s commitment to working closely with business to remove unnecessary administrative barriers and reduce corruption.

“The Mission would like to thank the authorities for the excellent cooperation it received, and for the candid and constructive discussions that facilitated a productive exchange of views. It looks forward to further discussions to follow in the period ahead.“

The mission held discussions with His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, Speaker of the House of Representatives Dr. Bhofal Chambers, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Albert Chie, Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Central Bank Governor Nathaniel R. Patray, Minister of Commerce Wilson K. Tarpeh, Members of the House and Senate, senior government and central bank officials, and development partners.

Discussions will continue over the period ahead.

6 Comments

  1. Here we go again with Mr. Conteh at his best, with his ever over exaggerating commentaries . You will never be taken seriously if you continue in this manner. What I keep asking myself is; where were you as your “Chairman for life” was seriously mal-performing in Salone?? With yours at times brilliant amount of advice, you could have made life much easier for your fellow Salone People.

    • Mr Moiba – likes to pick fights he knows he can not win. A little knee-deep pond and the boundless ocean are not the same thing.The breathtaking peaks of Everest, and the dull, boring, barren Sahara desert cannot be compared. Makes sense?

      You would need armies of intellectuals, with open books, to help you manage to cope with me. The feeling of awe and wonder that a fish can experience in the boundless seas, cannot be tasted in your eerie, little pond, where you squirm in shallow, muddy surfaces with oysters and crabs that crawl.

      Here’s a man that supports building expensive bridges with borrowed monies and wants to talk to me. Hilarious! Listen until you learn to think on your own properly, constructively, you cannot tell me anything I would be willing to consider or listen to. You keep giving the APC kindergarten ideas, that are just shrugged off and laughed at, because of how flimsy,unrefined and superficial they always appear.

      Your little pond, that is running dry of suggestions cannot compete with super conscious ideas that emanate from the vast, unimaginable depths of refined intuition and discernment where we thrive and prosper with ease. Young guns, smart and fearless, will eventually be in control of the APC, so get your napkins and handkerchiefs ready to blow and wipe your running noses.

      A new ball game is about to be played – see you at the finish line Anthony,I will be waiting when you get there. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  2. Brother, what have you done to bring better improvement in your own country? Leadership is from God, so have respect for those in authority. Stop thinking negative thoughts for others but always pray for them to succeed. That makes you a true neighbour. If you do not love those you see everyday how much more can you love God whom you cannot see?

    • Peter Tucker – I created a riddle intentionally for you to rack your brain and answer,but you just couldn’t; now here you come again with another boring,poorly conceived,self righteous pronouncement – You think Almighty God can be fooled,and bribed into opening the gates of Majestic Heaven to hypocrites, pretenders,liars,deceivers,thieves, and whoremongers?

      Now such a mindset is delusional,and outright crazy! Well so be it – keep on avoiding the responsibility of speaking the truth,and see if men,and women who are cowards do not end up,tied up,gagged,and dragged,hand and foot into the fiery depths of Hell – a frightening place which the Muslims call in Arabic “JAHANAM ”

      People are wrecking,and collapsing nations through poorly conceived agendas,and policies,that will certainly destroy millions of innocent lives,and here you come with impractical chants,and empty mantras about, “Loving Your Crooked, Corrupt, Unpragmatic Neighbors”. Truly laughable! Give your borrowed advice,and sermons to those in power,who do not know right from wrong,truth from fiction,and quit wasting my precious time. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  3. And the spoonfeeding,and nose-wiping of African leaders by the IMF continues – rest assured it will never end. Governments in Africa just like our own, in Sierra Leone are the nations biggest legitimate employers. Liberia is no different,its also towing the mindless, brainless,stupidity line.

    Think on this carefully, 65 percent of their annual budget has been allocated,and pegged down permanently to public sector wages and expenditure. Imagine that just or a minute! Is that crazy,or not? It means there is no room for anything else. If that’s not enough proof of what a reckless, irresponsible attitude of government spending looks like,then perhaps you should look and examine Sierra Leone, where they are thinking of spending 2 Billion dollars they don’t have on an unnecessary bridge. Truly laughable!

    Indeed, the gross incompetencies of African leaders knows no bounds. Shame on them, for their silly attitudes of wasting resources by employing large numbers of unproductive public workers that are not needed in the first place, instead of pumping money into the private sector through the cautious provisions of low interest loans that can easily increase productivity, profit margins and levels of employment.

    But is such a thing happening? Nope, it never has and never will – because to them such pragmatic ways are not sensible enough; their overpowering impulses and senses of stupidity dictates to them, that government must strictly shoulder the economic burdens alone, like a Camel with a fractured broken hump, struggling under heavy loads, crossing the vast Sahara desert.

    Sad isn’t it? Instead of thoughtfully sharing the risks, obligations and responsibilities judiciously with others in the private sector, they senselessly keep on plodding along, wasting precious time, money and effort.

    Liberians – they thought it was going to be easy just by electing a Football Superstar into the highest office of the land. Absolutely foolish and naive. Governance is nothing like football, where a ball is passed around just for fun. But rather its like climbing and harvesting extremely tall trees, where the higher you go, the more fruits you will be able to pick and throw down to others below, who are unable to climb – millions who are thirsty, hungry and waiting.

    It takes great skill to govern successfully, especially in Africa. Now the belligerent IMF is at their doorsteps again, telling them what to do and what must be avoided, hurling endless rebukes, like a mean-spirited Father in law, telling the husband of his daughter to tread sensibly and cautiously. Hilarious!

    Our people totally lack any sense of pride and dignity in their little, pretentious, disingenuous heads. And sadly, its the same story everywhere with regards to irresponsible, ill dvised spending. Uhuru is doing the same thing in Kenya, with Bio, Weah, Musuveni and Ramphosa following in his misguided footsteps.

    There you go folks – a crooked senseless, mindless, African masquerade parading. Not moving ahead, but going backwards instead! And they wonder why Africa is not making sustainable, noticeable progress after tainting their hands with thefts, corruption and high interest loans, already designed to keep them in permanent bondage.

    A time is fast approaching when the cunning stratagems and devious schemes of the IMF will be thrown in their evil faces, and their monies will be seen as nothing – for we will have refined intelligence as a compass and a guiding light. And best of all, we will have Divine wisdom that shatters and reduces money and riches to dust. And that glorious day, my brethren, is not too far away. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Mr. Conteh you like to beat around the bush and pretend to know and understand what you are writing, but unfortunately as usual the same pattern …..long text with melodramatic expressions that carry no message. My advice to you, please use your talent for the betterment of Salone rather than wasting it in poetic rhetoric that won’t help either your “chairman for life” nor the average Sierra Leonean.

      Look out for progressive members in your party and come up with good and sound proposals as to how best you can contribute to sustainable development in our country; and please don’t forget…..less is more!!!

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.